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Zee to uplink two channels from India

Anusha S in Mumbai | August 05, 2003 11:15 IST

Zee Telefilms flagship channel Zee TV and the company's movie channel Zee Cinema will now be uplinked from India.

For the two channels, which are currently being uplinked from Singapore, the company has received the necessary permissions and licences to uplink from India.

Jawahar Goel, additional vice-chairman of Zee Network said, " We have already obtained the uplinking licences for both these channels and within the next four to eight weeks we should be able to uplink these channels from our teleport facility, Essel-Shyam at Noida."

The two channels are currently a part of ZTL's wholly owned overseas subsidiary Asia Today Ltd.

Now with the uplinking of both these channels out of India, the ownership of this company will be transferred to the Indian parent company, Goel added.

The uplinking from India will be a big shot in the arm for the Zee Network, bringing both operational efficiencies and significant cost savings to Zee Telefilms. It will also allow the company to reach out to hitherto untapped streams of advertising.

According to media analysts tracking this company, the cost reduction for the company should be in the region of 10-15 per cent. Sources said the savings for the company's operations annually should be in the region of at least $5 million.

The permission for uplinking directly from India means that a significant advantage will accrue to Zee TV in terms of enabling the channel to beam at real time.

Goel said, "Currently, uplinking through Singapore results in a time lag. Removal of this timelag will prove to be a significant competitive advantage for Zee TV."

Sources in the company feel this development will allow Zee TV to further leverage its position as a dominant No 2 player in the general entertainment channel space.

Currently, Zee Network is already uplinking six of its channels from India namely Zee News, Alpha Marathi, Alpha Gujarati, Alpha Punjabi, Alpha Bangla and Zee Music.

Industry experts feel that local uplinking will most importantly open up a huge new advertising market for Zee.

The company will now be in a position to tap the highly lucrative non -exporter advertising market.

Local advertisers (for foreign uplinked channels, advertisers need the Reserve Bank of India's permission and exporter status) will now be offered airtime in rupee denomination and local currency on these eight channels. Local uplinking will allow the company to exponentially expand the market in ad-sales.

The stock price of Zee Telefilms has steadily seen a rise over the last one month. The scrip has moved from Rs 89.95 as on July 1 to Rs 121.15 recorded as on July 31, a 35 per cent increase in one month.

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