ZEEL plans to bring English GEC Zee Café under ‘&’ brand

MUMBAI: After re-launching its English movie channel Zee Studio as &flix, media conglomerate ZEEL is planning to bring its English GEC Zee Café under the ‘&’ brand by rebranding it as &Café.

Talking to analysts recently after the Q1 results, ZEEL MD and CEO had stated that company is mulling rebranding Zee Café as &Café. “We are still debating it internally, but most likely it will.”

He also stated that there are more than 50 million viewers who are active in English language entertainment on TV.

Zee Café figures in the top 3 English GEC genre. The channel offers a mix of reality and scripted show offerings directly from the U.S. It has associations with international studios such as Fremantle, Disney, WB, CBS, BBC Studios and Sony.

Explaining the rationale behind the rebranding of Zee Studio, Goenka noted that the company had acquired a full library courtesy its first pay features deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT).

With so much fresh content at its disposal, the company felt it was better to refresh the entire rather than just refreshing the content. He also said that the ‘&’ brand has a better connect with the English speaking viewers which was evident from the success of &privé.

“What happened was that we have a full library that we had acquired this year which would have refreshed the entire brand itself. We just felt that the ‘&’ brand would connect well with the English-speaking audiences as we had seen in the success of &privé and therefore the rebranding. Obviously, you will see the rollout of the titles on the English language and I’m sure we will grow that market further for ourselves,” Goenka stated.

&privé and &flix have been super premium and mass premium channels. Goenka believes that the new brand identity of ‘&flix’ will help it position as the premium destination for English movies. “We believe that there is still room for monetizing the increase in market share, which will allow us to grow ahead of the market,” he noted.

&flix has 52 premieres a year which air every Sunday at 1 pm and 9 pm. As many as 48 of these premieres come from Sony as a result of the first output deal that was done last year. The movies come from Sony (first output), Paramount (second output), Disney (third output) and seven independent studios.

The channel has a dedicated library and the movies aired on the channel will not be seen on &Prive HD. &Prive HD will have 35 premieres from the Sony library. In total, ZEEL’s English movie library strength is around 700.

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