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Zee plans launch of cricket channel
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#1
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) intends to launch a cricket channel along the lines of Star Cricket and Neo Cricket as part of its plans to increase revenues from sports broadcasting.

A golf channel is also on the agenda to tap into the expanding niche segment. India does not have a dedicated golf channel, a genre of sports that is followed by upscale audiences.

“Zee has applied to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for a host of channels including a cricket and a golf channel. We believe there is a market for specialised sports offerings. We also realise that cricket drives sports revenues,” a source familiar with the development said.

Ten Sports will continue to be a multi-products channel, filled with properties such as WWE, tennis and motor racing among others. “The channel will also show cricket content. There will be several live events where there will be a need to simulcast. WWE is also a very strong daily content. Ten will continue to be a flagship brand,” the source said.

Earlier this year, Zeel hiked its stake to 95 per cent in Taj TV Limited Mauritius and 100 per cent in Taj Television (India). For the increase in stake, Zee paid the Bukhatir Group a total consideration of $44.145 million.

The acquisition gave Zeel access to telecast rights for over 100 days of international cricket from the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket Board, West Indies Cricket Board, South Africa Cricket Board and Zimbabwe Cricket Board. Ten also holds rights to the UEFA Champions League Soccer.


“By launching a cricket channel, Zee will have the freedom to price its channel to the pay-TV subscribers. The existing channels are under a price restriction by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). The subscription revenues can grow with the launch of the new channels,” the source said.

As part of the growth strategy, Zee Sports will be positioned primarily as a soccer-driven channel.

ITV.COM
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another sports channels
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