Mumbai: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. has announced the launch of a new channel that will be targeted at a young audience as part of its expansion plans that include going beyond the existing traditional base of older viewers.
ZeeNext, a general entertainment channel, will focus on a younger audience “without alienating the older age group”, said a Zee spokesperson from Mumbai
Indian television has long been dominated by general entertainment channels targeted at women, with a mix of soaps, Hindi films and more recently, reality and game shows that have sought a wider audience.
But with half its billion-plus population below the age of 25 years, broadcasters are going beyond cartoons and movies dubbed in regional languages to hook young adults.
Walt Disney Co. which operates the Disney Channel and Toon Disney in India, last year bought a children’s Hindi entertainment channel, from UTV Software Communications Ltd. and also invested 14.9% in the Indian broadcaster.
Top broadcaster Star News Corp.’s Star India also has a Hindi-language channel for young adults, while Time Warner’s Cartoon Network dominates the kids’ entertainment space.
India has 71 million cable TV homes, the world’s third-largest base, and is forecast to become the top pay TV market in Asia-Pacific by 2015.