Zee eyes March for second Hindi GEC launch

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 14 January 2015

Zee Entertainment's second Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) &TV is set to launch in the second week of March, with the Indian version of hit format The Voice among its programming line-up.

The new channel has commissioned content from production companies such as Sphere Origins, Swastik Productions, Shashi-Sumeet Productions, Endemol India, Fremantle India and Saregama Productions, according to a local report.

It will also air the local version of the international hit format singing reality show The Voice, originally created by Dutch media tycoon John de Mol. The Indian version of the show will be produced for Zee by Endemol India.

ZEE will officially announce details of its new channel and shows on 21 January, although other original programming is reported to include Swastik Production's Razia Sultan, about the first woman emperor of India.

An investment of between INR7 billion (US$113 million) to INR10 billion ($161.36 million) has been set aside for Zee's second Hindi entertainment channel, TelevisionPost.com reported in November.

It will join the flagship Hindi GEC, Zee TV, among the Essel Group-owned broadcaster's other channels. These include a similarly branded year-old sister channel, &pictures, which showcases a mix of Bollywood and regional language movies.

Zee TV, Star Plus, Life OK, Colors and Sony Entertainment Television (SET) currently dominate the GEC space in India.