Zee’s ambitious growth story in South India

Over the years, ZEE as a network has witnessed a 19.1 % viewership share (CY 18 YTD), and today boasts of being the fastest growing network in the Southern region, standing at a 31.8% growth over the last fiscal. Reaching out to over 73% of South India’s population, the network has achieved dominance and the number 1 position in metro markets including Bangalore and Hyderabad. (Source: Data from BARC)

Today, the network has 4 dedicated channels in the South market alone and now it is all set to expand its footprint by entering the Kerala market and launching its 5th channel, Zee Keralam – a General Entertainment Channel in Malayalam to consolidate its overall position in the region.

On average, South India spends over 4 hours on TV every day and a recent survey by BARC shows that 95% of homes in the region have a TV set with the number of TV-owning individuals in the five southern states--Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala at 259 million, an 8% increase from 2016. Over the years, the southern market has witnessed a robust growth and has seen several national channels setting foot in the market and launching regional content catering to this burgeoning television audience.

Recognizing this potential early on, ZEEL entered the Southern region way back in May 2005 with Zee Telugu, followed by Zee Kannada in 2006, Zee Tamil in 2008, and Zee Cinemalu in 2016. Thereafter, each channel has grown from strength to strength delivering content deeply rooted in socio & cultural ethos and backed by strong consumer insights.


Zee Telugu

Year of launch - 2005

Business Head - Anuradha Gudur, Business Head, Zee Telugu & Zee Cinemalu

Anuradha Gudur is the Business Head of Zee Telugu and Zee Cinemalu.

With more than 22 years of experience in the media industry, Anuradha has lead the brand into what it is today.

Zee Telugu was the first entrant in the South from Zee into the Telugu market, which is one of the most cluttered markets in the country. Facing several challenges and setbacks, Anuradha led the channel to become the No.1 Telugu GEC by FY 2016. While competition channels stormed the space with big budget movies and international formats, Zee Telugu, under the aegis of Anuradha, continued its success streak with its strategic content planning and stood No.1 yet again in FY 2018.

Anuradha joined Zee as the Programming Head in 2005 and took over as Business Head six years ago. She has played a key role in launching clutter-breaking non-fiction formats like Aata and over the years, making Zee Telugu the ultimate fiction destination.

Brand proposition - ‘Aarambham Okka Aduguthone’ which translates to ‘It begins with one step’.

Be it through our aspirational characters or progressive narratives, we continue to showcase our brand philosophy and weave it through our content and help inspire women in the Telugu states to take those smaller steps in life that will lead them to greater achievements.

Brand Ambassador - Actor Samantha Akkineni

Zee Telugu has, over the years, established itself as a channel which is highly rooted in Telugu culture and family values while showcasing progressive narratives through young and aspirational characters.

  • Zee Telugu is a strong No.2 player with 688 GRPs & 25.7% genre share of Telugu GEC in Urban
  • Fiction contributes around 56% (382 GRPs) to total Zee Telugu viewership of 688
  • The channel is known for its festive celebrations and have a great viewer connect which is largely/evidently seen in its ground events, where almost 80,000 to a lakh gather to be entertained
  • Some of its tentpole shows include – Mudda Mandaram, Kalyana Vaibhogam, Maate Mantramu and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
  • Upcoming attractions –
    • Zee Kutumbam Awards where members of the Zee Telugu Kutumbam are recognized for their contribution towards making the channel the ultimate entertainment destination
    • Fiction show launch - Prema
    • Non-fiction show launches - Aata Juniors, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs
  • Upcoming World Television Premieres include – Co Co Kokila, Na Peru Surya, Geetha Govindam, China Babu and Sailaja Reddy Allud

Zee Kannada

Year of launch - 2006

Business Head - Raghavendra Hunsur, Business Head, Zee Kannada

Raghavendra Hunsur is the Business Head of Zee Kannada. He has been associated with the brand for over four years where he has held several roles and responsibilities, having begun as the Programming Head and the Deputy Business Head.

Raghavendra has worked with various entertainment brands including Suvarna, ETV and Colors prior to Zee Entertainment. With over a decade of experience in the field, Raghvendra has been instrumental in nurturing Zee Kannada as one of the fastest growing channels in the Kannada television industry today.

Brand proposition - Open Doors to Possibilities

Ever since its inception, Zee Kannada has always differentiated itself from the crowd with novel fiction and non-fiction concepts based on the cultural ethos of the people of Karnataka and consumer-based insights. By addressing the needs of the consumer, the channel has emerged to become a leader in the non-fiction category.

  • On an aggressive growth path since week 20 of 2018- share increase from 24% to 30% gradually
  • Relative share has gone up by 7% i.e. from 19% in FY16 to 26% in FY 19 (Till Wk 39)
  • Where other players see a stagnation or decrease Zee Kannada has grown from an average of 295 GRPs channel in FY16 to 546 GRPs in FY 19 (Wk 39) U+R which is a growth of 85%
  • In Urban gap with the market leader Colors Kannada has narrowed down significantly – ruling No. 1 position for eight weeks (Karnataka (U), Wk 29 to Wk 36’18)
  • Some of its tentpole shows include – Naagini, Kamali, Comedy Khiladigalu, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs (season 14)
  • Upcoming Attractions:
    • Zee Kutumba Awards where members of the Zee Kannada Kutumba are recognized for their contribution towards making the channel the ultimate entertainment destination
    • Hemmeya Kannadiga where Kannadigas from all walks of life are recognized for their contribution towards the upliftment of the society
    • Fiction show launches – Shree Vishnu Dashavatara, Paru, Aatma Bandhana
    • Non-fictions show launch – Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Season 15, Drama Juniors Season 3

Zee Tamil

Year of launch - 2008

Business Head - Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, ZEEL and Business Head, Zee Tamil

Siju Prabhakaran is the South Cluster Head, ZEEL and Business Head, Zee Tamil. He has been associated with the company for over seventeen years where he has held several roles and responsibilities. He spent the first ten years at ZEEL, gaining experience in sales, before transitioning into a corporate role.

With almost two decades of experience in the broadcast industry, Siju has been instrumental in building the South channels under his leadership, as some of the fastest growing channels in the south Indian television industry.

Under Siju’s aegis, Zee Tamil has, over the years, grown exponentially and has secured the No. 2 position in the market with differentiated show formats that cater to the needs of the Tamil viewers.

Siju is an engineering graduate from the University of Calicut and holds an MBA Degree in Marketing from Pune University.

Brand proposition - Bridging hearts and Welcoming Change

In a legacy-channel dominated market, the changing viewership landscape is very evident that people give chances to other channels if the content is differentiated and aspiring. Zee Tamil sensed the opportunity of differentiated and aspiring stories that can win hearts and win new audience to the channel. Young at heart and embracing change has always been the image of the channel and we always stand for positive change.

Brand Ambassador - Actor Jyothika

Zee Tamil is the fastest growing Tamil channel in region and in the Zee Network. With never-seen-before non-fiction show formats and fiction storylines that bind the Tamil society together, the channel is one of the dominant leaders in the Tamil television market today that cuts across all age-groups.

  • Zee Tamil is the fastest growing Tamil channel that has seen a 92% growth in 18 months
  • The channel has averaged 542 GRPs at a market share of 20.7% in the year 2018-19
  • The major reason for Zee Tamil’s growth has been its fiction and is in a strong no. 2 position with a 26% genre share.
  • Upcoming Attractions
    • Inaugural edition of the Zee Tamil Kutumbam Viruthukal where members of the Zee Tamil Kutumbam are recognized for their contribution towards making the channel the ultimate entertainment destination
    • Fiction show launches – Shree Vishnu Dashavataram, Sathya, Sembaruthi high-point (live wedding shoot)
    • Non-fiction show launches – Thamizha Thamizha, Super Mom and Dance Jodi Dance Juniors
  • World Television Premieres – Coco, Mohini, Irumbu Thirai, Lakshmi and Junga


Zee Cinemalu

Year of launch - 2016

Deputy Business Head – Sai Prakash BV, Deputy Business Head, Zee Cinemalu

Sai Prakash B V is the Deputy Business Head of Zee Cinemalu.

With almost two decades of experience in the media industry, Sai Prakash comes with a varied experience in several roles in print and television.

In his third stint at Zee, Sai Prakash joined as the Deputy Business Head of Zee Cinemalu in 2016. Zee Cinemalu was the first movie channel in the South from Zee bouquet. With his strategic approach and effective planning, Sai Prakash helped the channel grow from No.4 to No.2 in just two years. Zee Cinemalu achieved its break even within its first full year of inception and is the No.1 movie channel in Hyderabad and Sai Prakash’s careful monitoring and thorough scrutiny has been extremely important for the same.

Sai Prakash is a Science graduate from Andhra University.

Brand proposition

Telugu movies may best be described as ones that stoke the heart, wherein family sentiments, drama, action, singing and dance reign over everything else.

Hence, the idea was to hit the audiences’ heart in a young and stylish way. With a conscious call to have a movie library that has precedence to entertaining content over box office numbers, we derived at the brand line ‘Dil Pai Super Hit’.

Zee Cinemalu is a full-time Telugu movie channel from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), recently completed two years since its inception on 4th September 2016. Launched by Megastar Chiranjeevi unveiling the logo, the channel began its journey with ‘Dil Pai Super Hit’ as its brand line. Zee Cinemalu is the first movie channel to have World Television Premieres among the movies channels, also introducing the concept of 7 Days – 7 Premieres, giving a fresh offering to movie lovers

  • Zee Cinemalu commenced with a bang with 122 GRPs & 22% genre share in Urban and was seen as the biggest launch of the decade
  • Zee Cinemalu stood out as No.2 in Urban with 182 GRPs & 26.5% genre share and No.1 in Hyderabad with 229 GRPs & 30.3% genre share in FY19
  • When the channel launched in 2016, it was at No.4 and now has moved to No.2 in Urban and in fact No.1 in Hyderabad in FY19
  • Upcoming Attractions:
    • 9 days 9 Blockbusters – Dussehra Special: Mister, Winner, Supreme, Pandaga Chesko, Brucelee, Achari America Yatra, Shivalinga, Lie, A..Aa
    • Action Movie Festival – 1 day 6 movies
    • World Television Premiere - Kukkalunnayi Jagartha

Zee Keralam

Year of launch - 2018 (to be launched in Q3 of FY19)

Business Head - Deepti Sivan Pillay, Business Head, Zee Keralam

Deepti Pillay Sivan is the Business Head of the Malayalam General Entertainment Channel, Zee Keralam that is scheduled to be launched in third quarter of FY19. Having been in the Media and Entertainment industry for about 23 years now, she has been an influential leader across various media platforms with expertise in Media Strategy, Production Design, Content Conceptualization and Development.  

Deepti has held several positions such as Creative Director, Producer, Production Designer, Film programmer and Radio Station Director, across different media platforms including Hidden Gems International Film Festival, Sun Network Pvt Ltd, Sivas Studio Productions, and her latest stint was with Tripod Entertainment before her association with Zee.

Deepti has a graduate degree in law from Kerala Law Academy and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Bharathiar University. A passionate worker with a great sense of humor, Deepti is known for her people management skills who works with the ambition to achieve zenith of success.

Brand proposition - Let’s Weave Wonders in Life

Extending its footprint to the land of prosperity and harmony, Zee is scheduled to launch its first-ever Malayalam General Entertainment Channel, Zee Keralam. With this launch, the network will have a total of five channels dedicated to the Southern region.


Why Kerala is seen as a land of endless opportunities by Zee (Data source: BARC & IRS)

  • Kerala contributes to 3.70% of national viewership
  • In Kerala, Malayalam GEC contributes to 57% of total viewership
  • GEC’s maintain a strong share of viewership across age groups
  • The market is also exceptional in consumption power with 81% HH’s in NCCS ABC highest in the country
  • TV ownership in Kerala is at 90% with almost everyone subscribing to Pay Channels

With the brand promise, “Neithedukkam Jeevitha Vismayangal” i.e. “Let’s weave wonders in life”, Zee Keralam aims to inspire the people of Kerala, to rise above their circumstances and craft their own destiny. The channel will stand for progressive content that will bring together generations through endearing stories of ordinary people who are creating an extraordinary destiny, narrated by characters with determination.

Zee Keralam will be launched with a strong line-up of content that is family inclusive and culturally rooted to Kerala that will bring together generations. The programming line-up includes 7 fiction shows, 2 non-fiction shows, 1 afternoon game show and 1 morning show. In addition, the channel has also conceptualized a cinema-based speed news show.

Launching in Q3, it is one of the most ambitious and significant move by the network this year.



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