Chandra to quit in 2 years?
Chris Forrester

Subhash Chandra, head of the Zee TV/ZEEL media empire, says he would like to step down in a year or so and spend more time doing things that were not financially focused. He also said that of India’s current 7 rival DTH operators “only four would survive”.

Chandra was speaking last week in a conversation at CASBAA, Hong Kong, having received a “Lifetime Contribution” award. Interviewed by Turner Broadcasting’s Stephen Marcopoto he told delegates that he wanted to retire in a year or two.

Chandra has many of his family members working in various roles at Zee/ZEEL, and he was asked whether his son Punit Goenka, CEO at ZEEL, might succeed him as chairman. “I would not like to be in his shoes as expectations of him are very high because he is my son, but he has shaped up well.”

Speaking about the competition in India’s DTH sector, he said this was a great business to be in but the business was in bad health. “It is running $200 million to $500 million in the negative every year, because we are a divided bunch.”

He predicted that today’s seven rival DTH players would shrink to two national players, plus public broadcaster Doordarshan and one regional broadcaster (probably referring to Sun Direct).