Suresh Bala Iyer, formerly chief executive of Mumbai-based Zoom Entertainment Network, has been named by the international arm of India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) as the new chief executive officer of its North American subsidiary, Asia TV USA.
Based in New York, Bala has been tasked with leading the growth of wellness lifestyle channel Veria TV - currently carried by Verizon FIOS and Dish - and popular Zee channels such as Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Ten Cricket and Alpha ETC Punjabi.
"The South Asian population in the US - Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis - has doubled every decade since 1980, now encompassing a total of over four million,” said Suresh Bala Iyer, explaining the growth potential of the Zee Channels. “There are enormous opportunities to serve this well-educated and affluent audience."
While Veria TV, which concentrates on healthy living, “is”, says Bala ”a perfect resource for wellness enthusiasts and all who seek the balance mind, body and spirit in daily living - currently a $170 billion industry. With fresh and accessible content, Veria joins and expands 'living better' in entertaining, expert and thought-provoking ways."
Bala’s life in broadcasting started as head of the South Asia Channel at the News Corp-owned youth network Channel [v] in 1999, following 20 years in the advertising industry.
While at Zoom (from 2006-2010), Bala helped reposition it as the ‘Bollywood Channel’ and quadrupled its revenues. Prior to that, theToronto-based consultancy he founded - Induseye Inc – acted as the South Asian media and marketing agency for Comcast’s International Networks and AZN-TV, whilst developing a video-on-demand service for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aimed at Canada’s South Asian population.
"Suresh Bala Iyer's depth of experience brings dynamic leadership to Zee Entertainment Enterprises' American networks," said Bharat Kumar Ranga, chief operating officer, International Operations, ZEEL. "His mastery of the synergies that propel success in today's marketplace promises exponential growth and expansion for our companies in the near future."
Asia TV USA was founded in February 2010 to distribute broadcast content to a wide audience across the States regardless, the company says, of gender, ethnicity and income level.