ZEE TV is celebrating its 20th year of broadcasting in the UK/Europe with a special edition of ‘ZEE Companion’.
After its launch in India in 1992, ZEE TV came to the UK in March 1995 to meet the entertainment demands of the South Asian community. Today, twenty years on, it continues to serve the South Asian diaspora with its multi-genre programmes ranging from dramas, history, reality, films, news, cookery and exclusive local programming that educate, inspire, and entertain audiences in the UK and Europe. With more than 730 million viewers in over 170 countries worldwide, Zee TV has created a strong brand equity and is the largest media franchise serving the South Asian Diaspora.
ZEE Network Europe CEO, Mr. Neeraj Dhingra said, ZEE TV has been a pioneer in bringing great Asian entertainment to the UK and fostering the cultural ties with India. Our objective has been to produce innovative, engaging, and creative programming for our viewers and deliver exceptional value. We are constantly striving to reach wider audiences with a desire to entertain through Indian and local content and build a sense of ownership, pride and passion amongst our employees. And this connect with our viewers and employees is what has created a ZEE Family!
In the last 20 years, ZEE TV has been not only a television channel, but a celebration of hopes & dreams. Pioneering in all genres of entertainment, it has given its viewers some of the most loved shows on South Asian television. It created shows such as ‘Dance India Dance’ and ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ that started a revolution. Thought provoking shows like ‘Saat Phere’, ‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo’ and ‘Punar Vivaah’ brought about a social change. Through its shows, it has helped create some of the most renowned names such as Sanjeev Kapoor, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal.
There have been numerous milestones for ZEE TV in Europe and here are some of its key achievements that takes one down the memory lane:
1995 – Conducted the Supermodel Contest to find a male and female face to represent the Asian youth in the UK
1996 – Filmed and broadcast the UK edition of Antakshari, a landmark musical game show
1997 – Filmed and broadcast Filmi Baatein, a popular show hosted by Shekhar Suman in the UK
1998 – ZEE TV went Live 24 hours a day
1999 – First South Asian channel to launch English subtitling facility in the UK. Launched Music Asia, UK۪s first 24 hour Asian music channel, which was later rebranded as ZEE Muzic, and now called Zing
2000 – Hosted the international beauty pageant Miss World – ZEE became the first Asian channel to host an international event of this magnitude
2001 – Launched ZEE Cinema, a 24 hour film channel
2002 – Launched UK۪s first Punjabi language channel Alpha ETC Punjabi
2003 – Alpha ETC Punjabi became the only regional channel to be able to increase its price in UK
2004 – Launched Alpha Punjabi in rest of Europe
2005 – Hosted the 8th ZEE Cine Awards in London. Launched ZEE Gujarati in the UK
2006 – Hosted ZEE Carnival, a three day event featuring an array of top Bollywood, and ZEE stars. Became the only Asian television network to provide dual language subtitling facilities through teletext in English and French across Europe
2007 – Entered the Russian mainstream television industry with the launch of ZEE TV Russia, a complete entertainment and lifestyle channel in the Russian language
2008 – Hosted ZEE Cine Awards again, becoming the only international territory to host the Awards twice in a single location
2009 – Hosted ZEE Carnival again by popular demand in London
2010 – Launched ZEE Cafe
2011 – Broadcast the ICC World Cup Cricket in Hindi exclusively on ZEE Cafe
2012 – Launched Cinematic Cricket, a special scheduling slot for Live and exclusive international cricket series on ZEE Cinema
2013 – Launched Lamhe, UK۪s first nostalgic Asian entertainment channel. Launched ‘Cloud 9’, UK۪s first Brit-Asian weekday drama series shot in London
2014 – Launched ‘ZEE Companion’, a unique local and Live show
‘ZEE Companion’ is a one-of-a-kind LIVE show that acts as an interactive portal between viewers, hosts and experts. The show۪s affable hosts act as companions to the viewer and share experiences, discuss issues and aid them in getting proper guidance and advice from a renowned panel of experts. Some prominent guests who have appeared and interacted Live with viewers include Jay Sean, Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Kumar Sanu, Shabana Azmi, Tarun Tahiliani, Jimmy Shergill, Sukhwinder Singh, Kabir Bedi, Nina Manuel, Madhoo, Preeya Kalidas, Pritam Chakraborty, Satinder Sartaj, Anandji (Kalyanji-Anandji fame), Celebrity Chef Cyrus Todiwala, Centenarian Marathon Runner Fauja Singh and many more. Esteemed Business tycoons Hussein Lalani, Shahnaz Husain, Lord G K Noon, Rami Ranger have interacted with viewers and given expert advice. The show covers a variety of topics in the fields of health, law, finance, wellness, business, education and entertainment.