ZEE Next may close if investors not found


ZEE Network’s second entertainment channel ZEE Next faces closure if it fails to line up an investor before 1st April 2009.

According to a report on IndianTelevision, ZEE Next is expected to suffer losses in the region of Rs 600 million for the full-fiscal ended 31st March 2009.

The channel was hived off to a wholly owned subsidiary company of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) but has been unsuccessful in finding an investor. The channel was expected to be hived to wholly-owed subsidiary Asia Today Limited so that it would not capture the startup losses of the channel.

The channel has been starved of fresh content and is kept in “maintenance mode” to keep the losses under control. While the first quarter losses stood at around Rs 380 million, Zeel has been able to bring this down to Rs 82 million and Rs 81 million for the second and third quarters.

“We will scrap the channel if we don’t get an investor. We have already capped ZEE Next’s losses and are not investing in the channel’s content,” says a source in the company.

Last month, ZEE Network confirmed that it was closing its loss making Gujarati channel, ZEE Gujarati, in April.

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