An August launch has been targeted for Zee’s new 24 hour pay-TV channel, Ten Golf, which has been anticipated for some time.

According to India’s Financial Express, the new channel will join Ten Sports, Ten Cricket and the football oriented Ten Action + in Zee’s premium sports bouquet. For a monthly subscription fee of between INR 100-200, it will be available in high definition across direct to home (DTH) satellite platforms in south Asia.

“According to studies, there are half a million golfers in the country and each player attracts four to five people. There is viewership potential in this space,” Subhash Chandra, chairman of Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) told the Financial Express.

The media buyer Manas Mishra, executive vice president and country head, Mudra Max, agreed that the new channel has some potential. “Zee has the first mover-advantage in the golf space. It will help it gain loyal viewers, if it acquires the exclusive rights for all golfing events to be telecast in India,” he said to the Financial Express.

“The advantage for advertisers is that the stickiness to golf is higher as it is a lengthy sport as compared to shorter formats like football or tennis. Hence, viewers will watch ads for a longer period of time,” Mr Mishra added.

According to TAM media research, sports channels account for 3.17% of the total television viewership in India. Meanwhile, from a yearly TV advertising budget of INR 9,000-10,000 crore, about INR 1,200-1,400 crore is spent on sports slots, with over 70% of this directed at cricket coverage.

ZEEL reportedly expects to turn cash-positive in its sports business by the end of the current financial year. The broadcast network’s losses from the sports segment for the last financial quarter stood at INR 15 crore.