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Zee to Convert Free Channels into Pay

August 28, 2018 06:08 AM


Zee to Convert Free Channels into Pay
Move comes ahead of August 31 Trai deadline for announcing MRP for television channels


Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Entertainment Enterprises has decided to turn all its free-to-air (FTA) channels into pay channels.

Once effective, channels like Zee Anmol, Zee Anmol Cinema, Zee News, Big Magic, Big Ganga and Zee Hindustan will not be available in any of the FTA bouquets of cable or private DTH operators.

However, the channels are likely to be available free of cost on public broadcaster Prasar Bharati’s FTA service, DD FreeDish.

“All news channels of the ZEE group, along with FTA channels, will be available as part of the pay bouquets or at an MRP. These channels would not be available in the FTA pack. We will announce individual pricing soon,” a source at the company told ET. This will allow Zee to bundle all the channels together, as under the new order, pay channels and free channels cannot be clubbed together.

While various broadcasters are gearing up to declare their channel prices, ZEE’s decision may force cable operators and DTH players to move the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, since these channels will be available for free on DD FreeDish. The move is in line with the fast approaching August 31 deadline for announcing the MRP for television channels under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s new tariff order.

As per the plan, ZEE will offer options to its consumers to choose from bouquets created specifically for Hindi speaking markets (HSM) and different regional language markets (Marathi, Bangla, Odia, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam).

For each market, there will be multiple bouquets available at different price points. Each bouquet would consist of a mix of channels from different genres including general entertainment, movies, news, infotainment and music.


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