ZEE TV & ZEE Cinema closure in UK: What BizAsia knows

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In what is certainly going to be the end of an era for the UK’s first satellite Asian TV network. News is out about ZEE Network shutting down its linear services – ZEE TV and ZEE Cinema in this market this year. BizAsiaLive.com brings readers what we know so far.

At this week’s media, telecoms and entertainment industry event, APOS 2020, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited’s CEO, Punit Goenka let the cat out among the pigeons by divulging details about its plans for the international market, including UK and US. See here.

Over the last couple of years, ZEE Network UK has downsized its operations with the closure of its ZEE TV HD service, &TV, Zing and ZEE Punjabi. Since then, the broadcaster has been gung-ho about its digital service, ZEE5 with a huge increase in subscriber numbers over the past year. The digital platform has managed to clock up large number of subscribers on the back of high-end exclusive content.

Returning to ZEE TV and ZEE Cinema. Their future status in the UK has been in the news many a times. Previously, BizAsiaLive.com first reported this story about the closure back in January 2019.

However, this time its different. Here’s why.

► Punit Goenka’s statement at APOS 2020 couldn’t be any clearer. By putting a time frame for the closure of ZEE TV and ZEE Cinema as “end of the year” puts things into perspective.

► Contracts with platforms like Sky and Virgin are up in Summer 2021 – So if the closure can’t take place at the end of this year then certainly will be around spring 2021 to honour its commitments with the two major UK platforms. Similarly contracts with advertisers are in place until around the same time.

► The sudden departure of ZEE UK/Europe’s CEO, Aditya Thakur on Friday also signalled the imminent changes. See here.

While the ZEE UK office continues to use this transitional period to promote ZEE5, its India team is rushing through with plans to close the two channels in December 2020 (subject to contracts). Not only will the move be a signal to keep investors on ZEE’s side but also will be the biggest change yet for a major Asian TV broadcaster – a historical change that will subsequently result in rival broadcasters to evaluate their own business models.

Keep it with BizAsiaLive.com for more.

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