ZEE Network’s second entertainment channel ZEE Next, sister station of ZEE TV, will be given a fresh lease of life with help from a foreign partner.

In other news today concerning the channel, ZEE Next is being hived off to its wholly-owned subsidiary Asia Today Limited.

According to IndianTelevision, Hong Kong-based ATL will invest Rs 1 billion in ZEE Next over a three-year period while the partner will put in Rs 4 billion.

ATL’s holding initially will be 45 per cent in the company that will hold ZEE Next and kids programming while the investing partner will own the rest. ATL’s stake will go up to 55-60 per cent in five years.

“ATL will invest in convertible debentures within five-year period to be issued by ZEE Next. The shareholding of ATL for the purpose of consolidation, prior to conversion of debenture would be 45 per cent and post conversion of CD within 5 year would go up to 55 60 per cent,” the source adds.

ZEE is hiving off ZEE Next as it doesn’t want to capture the start-up losses of the newly-launched Hindi general entertainment channel.

ZEE Next, which was expected to launch in the UK on Sky Digital in July has been pushed back to September/October. More details soon.