Zee Tele to merge four subsidiaries with itself

Mumbai: Zee Telefilms is merging four of its wholly-owned subsidiaries Kaveri Entertainment, Programme Asia Trading Company, EL Zee Television and Dakshin Media with itself. The company has convened an EGM on 25 October 2002 for procuring shareholders approval for the merger.

The board of directors of the company, at its meeting held on 24 September 2002, had recommended payment of 55-per cent dividend. The board has fixed 23 and 24 October 2002 (both days inclusive) as the book closure date for payment of dividend.

Zee, in the meantime, has said advertising revenues continue to remain flat. "Concurrently, subscription revenues from domestic and international markets continue to grow at a healthy rate, which will provide an increasing broad-basing of revenue stream in the days ahead."

Zee Telefilms has taken significant new initiatives in the recent times to strengthen its programming, and the results are very encouraging. The recent introductions, Kittie Party, Love Marriage, Lipstick and Ati Rahengi Baharein, have drawn good reviews and are steadily climbing in popularity.

In another major initiative, Zee will be showcasing new movies every week on prime time television, under the brand Thursday Premier. As part of this initiative, latest Hindi movies will be shown every Thursday at 8 pm. Zee has acquired these movies for world satellite rights ranging from five to 10 years.

This will make this initiative a highly cost-effective one, apart from its unique and long-term appeal to South Asian audiences worldwide. Zee expects to recover the cost of these movies during the first airing on Zee TV and Zee Cinema. After the first telecast, these movies will be zero cost IPR with huge future exploitation potential.

In another new move, it is planning to consolidate viewership by introducing Sunday primetime programming. Alpha channels will continue to strengthen their respective positions in each of their regional market. Zee Music is being transformed into a 100-per cent interactive channel and is expected to air in its new avatar towards the later part of this year.

Zee has started a dedicated 24-hour beam for the Middle East, Pakistan and Bangladesh markets and have customised the programme schedule to coincide with local primetime viewing. It will be launching Sone Pe Suhage, a 26-part game show for which World Gold Council has shown very keen interest. As part of drawing synergies with ETC Networks, Zee has launched the etc Alpha Punjabi channel in the UK, where the channel has more than 6,600 subscribers.