Companies

Star-Zee venture will drive digitisation, consolidation

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, ZEEL.

To address various anomalies of the analog market





Media Pro Enterprise India Private Ltd, a 50:50 JV between Star Den and Zee Turner, has been formed to jointly distribute channels licenced to the two companies.

Star Den is a 50:50 JV between Den Media Services Private Ltd and Star India Private Ltd, and Zee Turner is a 74:26 JV between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Turner International India Private Ltd.

Mr Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, ZEEL, noted that the intent is to “address various anomalies” of the current analog market.

Curbing piracy and introducing transparency by accelerating digitisation, is part of the vision.

Around 80 per cent of the estimated 14 crore television households in India are still connected by analog cable. Several cable operators do not report actual revenues, and digitisation is expected to plug the leak in revenues to broadcasters, acknowledge cable operators Business Line spoke with.

Consolidation too is inevitable, as large investments are required for digitisation.

DTH homes

The number of DTH homes, which is close to 3 crore, is expected to touch 4.2 crore by 2012, according to a Media Partners Asia report.

Competing Hindi general entertainment channels, Star Plus and Zee TV will be part of the 68 channels to be distributed by the new entity, as will several others in the same genre.

With multiple competing channels in similar genres and limited bandwidth on analog, long term co-opetition will be a challenge, according to industry sources. They point out that unlike Sun 18, the Sun Network - Network 18 JV for distribution, Media Pro Enterprise has multiple competing channels within genres.

Competition Commission of India

Two leading broadcasters joining hands for distribution has also been brought to the notice of the Competition Commission of India, which will examine the impact of the deal on the distribution ecosystem, including MSOs and cable operators.

Mr Dhanendra Kumar, Chairman, Competition Commission of India, told Business Line, “The facts are not before us yet. But we are looking into it.”

Published on May 27, 2011

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