ZEE can uplink from India
Zee TV confirmed Dec. 12 that it is setting up a joint venture with AOL’s Turner Broadcasting International. Zee, which is India’s largest commercial TV network, will hold 74 percent in the Zee Turner Private Ltd, with AOL/Turner holding the balance. “This new joint venture leverages both partners’ respective brands and will enhance each party’s distribution strength,” said Zee Chairman Subhash Chandra. Chandra added that Zee – which currently runs 14 channels in India and beams to 225 million viewers around the world – would “continue to explore other strategic cooperation and investment opportunities with AOL Time Warner. AOL/Turner will add three channels to the Zee bouquet. The new company is reportedly working on a package deal for cable operators. At present, Zee charges Rs 30 for its bouquet and Turner Rs 12.70 for CNN, Cartoon Network and HBO, although an insider said the new bouquet price will probably be pitched at a much lower price. Industry observers suggest that the new pricing will be less than Rs 42 charged by the Star bouquet.