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Thu 1 Dec 2005 04:00 AM

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Zee Arabiya channel targets youth

Zee Arabiya, a new music and lifestyle channel for the youth of Asia and the Middle East is the first of Zee’s customised bouquets for the Arab region.

Indian entertainment giant, Zee Network, recently launched Zee Arabiya, a new music and lifestyle channel for the youth of Asia and the Middle East. The free-to-air channel, the first of Zee’s customised bouquets for the Arab region, is being telecast through Nilesat, Arabsat and NSS. The channel is being produced completely in the United Arab Emirates.

“Zee Arabiya’s launch is in line with our plan of positioning Zee Network as a leading family entertainment television network in the Middle East,” says Yogesh Radhakrishnan, MD & CEO of Real Media, Zee’s UAE office. “We are the first Asian network to launch such a free-to-air multi-language channel in this region.”

The channel, which has replaced Zee Music, and offers a mix of Indian, Western and Arabic music, is currently uplinked through Samacom. “It reaches nearly 55 million households across the region with the digital footprint covering the Middle East, North Africa, some parts of Europe and Pakistan,” claims Radhakrishnan.

The channel will feature music blocks; interactive and SMS request shows; interviews with celebrities; entertainment news and vignettes that cover a wide spectrum of topics such as fashion, cars, extreme sports, gaming, fitness, reality shows and upcoming concerts.

“We expect that the biggest benefit to the viewer will be the localised content. Today, there is no television software within the region that allows Westerners, Arabs and Asians to share a platform for showcasing talent. Our 24-hour programming content will become the foundation for sharing views across the region. We have 60 people in the Zee Arabiya team and they have been trained to understand the business of international entertainment, and initial feedback from advertisers has shown that the strategy is bang on,” adds Radhakrishnan.

Zee Network is investing US $28 million in the new channel.

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