16 Dec 2017
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Zee Media Corp rebrands UP news channel as Zee Sangam

MUMBAI: After launching Zee Kalinga in Odisha and rebranding Maurya TV as Zee Purvaiya for Bihar and Jharkhand, Zee Media Corp (earlier Zee News Ltd), is rebranding its Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand news channel as Zee Sangam.

Like its Odisha, Bihar and Rajasthan counterparts, Zee Sangam will soon adopt the news-cum-entertainment format, or terrestrial entertainment network (TEN) model, according to the company.

“Zee News Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand will change into Zee Sangam from tonight. At present, it will remain as a news and current affairs channel, but eventually, we will follow the TEN model, like some of our other channels,” Zee Media CEO Alok Agrawal told TelevisionPost.com.

Currently, three channels—Zee Kalinga, Zee Purvaiya and Zee Marudhara (Rajasthan)—follow the TEN model, whereby they offer a content mix of news and current affairs and general entertainment.

Agrawal said that they are in process and will take some time to adopt the TEN model for Zee Sangam. “It will take another 4–5 months,” Agrawal said.

“Zee Sangam, we felt, is the right name for the channel as it is the land of the Sangam and a melting pot of cultures. Having a name that symbolises and epitomises the essence is better than the working title of Zee UP Uttarakhand,” he added.

As of now, news constitutes 65 to 70 per cent, while the remaining 30–35 per cent is current affairs. However, it will soon change to 50 per cent news and current affairs, and 50 per cent entertainment content.

“We are working on multiple-fiction shows right now. The primetime will be like any other national general entertainment channel. We will have the advantage of being more grounded and focused in approach. Our budgets will be much lower than the GECs but the stories will be much more relatable for the local audiences,” a source in Zee Sangam told TelevisionPost.com.

The UP and Uttarakhand ad market is close to Rs 55–60 crore (Rs 550-600 million). The entertainment channels in the region include Big Magic and Dhamaal, while region-specific news channels include ETV Uttar Pradesh, Samay Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand and DD Uttar Pradesh.