ZEE Next to launch in UK “within days”


ZEE Network’s second general Hindi entertainment channel, ZEE Next, is planning to launch on Sky Digital in the UK “within days”.

Since last weekend, ZEE Network UK channels have been flashing a “Coming Soon” promo consisting of the ZEE Next channel ID. ZEE Next’s strapline ‘Dil Wahi, Dhadkan Nayi’ meaning ‘the heart is the same but a new heartbeat” will offer an alternative to the saas bahu soaps being offered on flagship channel ZEE TV.

When the channel launched in India, last December, ZEE Next business head Punit Goenka said, “While ZEE TV concentrates on stories inside the home, the new channel will narrate stories from outside. The channel will address more contemporary issues especially in its portrayal of women. Although its main target will be the youth demographic, it will not alienate the housewife.”

With newcomers 9X and NDTV Imagine grabbing a majority of the market pie, ZEE Next has struggled to create the impact that bosses had wanted. Even though some programmes have received a good response, the channel has faced distribution problems.

Last month, a ZEE spokesman said that ZEE Next was to be revived with more hours dedicated to original programming and distribution problems rectified.

“There is a full-blown expansion plan for ZEE Next over the next two months. The focus will be on programming and distribution. The channel’s peak investment requirement is Rs 3 billion on the channel. We will be spending more money on distribution and are also increasing original content on the channel,” said a source in the company.

ZEE UK officials declined to comment further on the launch but did confirm ZEE Next will be launching “within days”.

As always, keep it with BizAsia.co.uk for the exclusive announcement, first.

ZEE Network UK recently launched the group’s first radio station, ZEE Radio, the UK’s only all-Bollywood radio station, broadcasting on 558AM between 07:00 – 13:00 and on DAB digital radio 24 hours a day in Greater London.

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