ZEEL to launch three new regional movie channels: Punit Goenka

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MUMBAI: Media conglomerate ZEEL is upbeat about the potential of movie genre and is planning to launch three new regional movie channels in the near term. He didn’t provide details of the new movie channels that will be launched.

Speaking with analysts, ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka said that movie is one of the most important avenues of entertainment for Indian consumer and a key long-term growth driver.

He further stated that ZEEL’s strong presence across broadcast, digital and international businesses allow it to exploit movie rights better compared to its peers.

“Our broadcast business offers 8 Hindi movie channels and 5 regional movie channels. We are now set to expand our regional movie business further and we intend to launch 3 new movie channels,” he said during the earnings conference call post the announcement Q4 and FY19 results.

Goenka also stated that ZEE5 has 3500+ movie library across 12 languages which creates a unique competitive advantage for it. Since its launch, ZEE5 has premiered 80+ movies across languages.

The company has ramped up its movie buying across languages. It has also entered into agreements with various content aggregators and production houses for the acquisition of movie library, output deals and future rights.

“Our movie library also helps us build the popularity of our channels in international markets,” Goenka said. He also noted that the acquisition of movie library, output deals, and future rights will help the company further improve its strong position in the movie genre across businesses.

“Definitely, we have taken a conscious decision to continuously invest behind the movie library and even other content whether it be for ZEE5, domestic market or even international markets. We will continue to see heightened investments but despite that, I’m confident that the EBITDA margin will remain at 30%+,” he added.

Asked about the ROI from big-budget movies like ‘Manikarnika’, Goenka said that ‘Manikarnika’ was an exceptional case as the genre of the movie requires big investments. He also noted that the company is focussed on small and medium budget films.

“Because it was a period film, that’s why it costed a lot more. But our focus has always been to be in the small to medium budget films barring which we may have 1 or 2 opportunities that we may look at. We will focus our energies towards small and medium budget films,” he stated.


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