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Zee to launch youth channel ZeeNext


19 July, 2007:

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited plans to launch ZeeNext, a general entertainment channel (GEC), targeting a young audience.

Through ZeeNext, Zee Entertainment aims to expand its traditional audience base beyond older viewers “without alienating the higher-age group” and hence it would be a channel for the whole family, a statement from India’s top-listed broadcaster said.

“ZeeNext will aim,” the statement added, “to resonate the changing preferences of the youth today. This would range from their search for identity, the struggle to fit in, the laughter and joy of life, romance, fun, gossip, and games. It will blend the modern and progressive societal outlook with the traditional middle-class Indian value system.”

Thus, the programs aired by ZeeNext will include a wide range of genres, including Thriller, Comedy, and Action.

Television in India has long been dominated by general entertainment channels targeted mainly at women, with a mix of soaps and Hindi films. Recently, reality shows and game shows have received a wide audience.

With half of India’s total population of over one billion coming under the age of 25 years, broadcasters have realised that they must go beyond cartoons and movies dubbed in regional languages in order to attract young adults.

Walt Disney Company, which operates the Disney Channel and Toon Disney in India, had in 2006 bought a children’s Hindi entertainment channel from UTV Software Communications limited and also taken a 14.9% in the Indian broadcaster.

While leading broadcaster Star News Corporation’s Star India has a Hindi-language channel for young adults, Time Warner’s Cartoon Network dominates the entertainment space for children.

India has a total of 71 million homes with cable television, with the country holding the world’s third-largest position on that score. And, India is predicted to become the top pay-television market in the Asia-Pacific region by 2015.




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