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General News ZEEL pushes launch of Punjabi, regional movie channels to FY20
MUMBAI: Media conglomerate ZEEL has pushed the launch of its Punjabi GEC and regional movie channels to FY20. In the current fiscal, the broadcaster will only launch Malayalam GEC Zee Keralam in SD and HD.

ZEEL is looking to launch movie channels in Tamil, Kannada, and Bhojpuri markets. It has movie channels in other regional markets like Bengali, Marathi, and Telugu markets.

Zee Keralam, which is slated to launch by November-end, will have seven fiction shows, three non-fiction shows and one morning show as part of its expansive programming line-up.

The channel will go on-air along with its HD feed. Zee Keralam will have two channel partners Fogg Body Spray and Chungath Jewellery.

“As of today we have only plans to launch Zee Keralam. For this fiscal, I do not foresee anything else coming in any of the languages, either movies or Punjabi, as I talked about. I think they will all shift to the next fiscal,” ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka told analysts during the post-earnings conference call.

Goenka further stated that the company’s overall market share has potential to grow further with the launch of its Malayalam GEC. In Q2 FY19, ZEEL had an all-India viewership share of 19.9% in non-sports entertainment segment.

“We believe that our broadcast portfolio has the potential to further increase its market share and the launch of new channel, Zee Keralam, in the next quarter will surely help it,” Goenka noted.

During the Q4 earnings conference call in May, Goenka had stated that the company will be adding Kerala market this fiscal besides looking at other genres within the existing regional markets.

In the same call, ZEEL Head – Strategy, Investor Relations and Business Development Bijal Shah had said that the company will complete its movie acquisition for upcoming regional movie channels and digital platform ZEE5 in FY19.

“In FY19, we would have been done with most of our movie buying. Most of the repository that we need to launch regional movie channels and also for digital offering, the kind of plans that we have, we would have probably acquired most of what we need,” she stated.

Talking about the ad growth for the second half of the fiscal, Goenka said that the growth will not be as high as the H1 FY19. The H2 FY19 ad growth is expected to be mid to high teens.

“So, it will definitely slow down compared to H1 because we are monetising very, very aggressively. I still expect in H2 to beat the industry growth, but obviously, it will not be at 23% kind of levels. It will slow in H2. The industry ad growth in our estimation is still about 12%,” he stated.

Goenka also noted that the company has not been able to monetise the market share gains over the last year. The company will monetise the market share growth over the next few quarters.

Bijal Shah stated that the company has not seen any pullback in ad spend on account of commodity prices. She added that the FMCG industry might feel some margin pressure that going forward.

“But this time, situation is slightly different because there could be some margin pressure, but on the other hand, volume growth remains very strong and they have also benefited a lot on account of GST,” Shah said.

“And lastly, for 1 – 1.5 year, entire launch pipeline was choked on account of GST and demonetisation. Those launches are happening now. So due to this, probably the pullback may not, if at all it comes, be as severe as probably we have seen in the past.”

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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