The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zee-Turner to go real from Jan 31

Calcutta, Jan. 5: Zee-Turner will add a new genre of programmes to its bouquet of 17 channels when it announces the launch of “Reality TV” on January 31.

The subsidiary of Zee Telefilms Limited has entered into a strategic arrangement with Zone Vision, the UK-based distribution channel, to distribute Reality TV in India, South Asia and some parts of West Asia. The alliance is based on sharing of revenue.

Zee distributes its programmes through Siti Cable, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

This is said to be the first time in Asia that a dedicated channel will air programmes which are true to life, full of on-the-spot emotions.

The Indian deal will also mark the entry of the international thematic channel into the Asian market and is expected to add around 10 million viewers to its existing 27 million subscribers across five continents.

“Reality shows were first launched in Poland four years ago. Since then they have grown in popularity,” said Sunil Khanna, chief executive officer, Zee-Turner. “It’s an action-oriented brand and targets an audience between 16 and 34 years, or anyone who is young at heart.”

With Zee facing stiff competition from Star and Sony Entertainment Television, the channel has been redesigning programmes to attract viewers.

Though new to India, reality programming is a proven success across continents and has helped many channels boost viewership across terrestrial and non-terrestrial channels.

Khanna is optimistic that the new channel would get a good response from the Indian audience because it would be a departure from the saas-bahu serials.

Zee also plans to introduce a Hindi voice-over version of the show later. Though the initial content will be sourced from other countries, the channel expects to air India-based programmes by the year-end.

“The USP of the show is that it features material sourced from factual procedures and captures human drama when everyday life takes a turn for the unexpected,” Khanna said.

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