Zee Media Corporation Ltd’s (ZMCL) Zee News, which recently converted to a free-to-air (FTA) channel, has won a slot on DD Freedish.
Zee News is the only channel to have won a slot during the new round of e-auction for which the reserve price was Rs 4.3 crore (Rs 43 million), a source in DD said.
DD had conducted an e-auction of slots on 28 July.
“Yes, Zee News has won a slot on DD Freedish. They have told us that they will add the channel on 1 August,” ZMCL CEO RK Arora confirmed to TelevisionPost.com.
With Freedish, Zee News will increase its reach to about 80 million TV households. “We will be on a par with other channels once we launch on Freedish. Our reach will be around 75 to 80 million,” Arora added.
The company had earlier taken the strategic decision to go FTA to tap into the large rural audience.
“Most of the leading channels are available on Freedish, which is the reason we changed our strategy and shifted to FTA mode to increase our penetration,” he stated.
Currently, Aaj Tak, ABP News, India TV, IBN7, India News and News 24 are available on Freedish. Of these, only Aaj Tak is a pay channel.
With Zee News going FTA, ZMCL will have three FTA channels. Currently, India 24×7 and Zee Purvaiya, a Bihar-focused channel, are the only FTA channels.
ZMCL owns and operates 10 news channels in six different languages, attracting more than 119 million viewers. It also owns English newspaper dna and digital properties like zeenews.com and dnaindia.com.
The network comprises three national channels—Zee News (Hindi news), India 24X7 and Zee Business (Hindi business news).
It also runs regional news channels, namely Zee 24 Taas (Marathi), Zee Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh (Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh), Zee Marudhara (Rajasthan), Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal and Zee Kalinga (Odisha).
Additionally, the company operates two regional news channels through its subsidiaries—24 Ghanta (Bengali) through Zee Akaash News and Zee Purvaiya (Bihar & Jharkhand) through Maurya TV.