The Zee network has crossed the border to cherry-pick successful Pakistani TV soaps for its Indian audiences.
In its newest channel, called Zindagi, to be launched on June 23, Zee is sourcing from Pakistan content that, it believes, will click with the local viewers.
To test this hypothesis, five-minute clips of these shows were shown to families across socio-economic backgrounds. The feedback reinforced the belief that Pakistani TV shows will work with the ‘premium mass’ audience (the growing body of premium viewers).
Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, says this channel is a long-term bet for him and he won’t judge its success in a few months or even a year. “The market today is already being fragmented with a varied class of people opting for a variety of content. We want to make sure we have an offering for the premium mass Hindi-speaking markets. This will help us expand our audience base, tap into premium advertisers and shore up revenues in the long run,” he says. The audience for such content, he adds, is about 40 million TV homes. India has a total of 140 million homes that watch television.
In the initial phase, the channel will have four hours of new programming every day; later, it will pick up content from other parts of the world as well and commission new programmes that will be produced both in India and Pakistan. Several novels are also being converted into soaps and 12 telefilms have been commissioned.
Memories of shows like Dhoop Kinaare and Ankahi are still strong with the Indian audiences of the 1980s. Will young viewers connect with this genre? Come June, we will know.
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(This story appears in the 13 June, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
mujhy Vikram aur Khurram k comments ny bahoot khush kiya hai jo Indian ho kar bhi achi cheez ko pasand karty hain but mujhy Urooj ka khiyal acha nahi laga Turkish Drama is (bad) in front of any Pakistani drama. In fact agar mujhy Turkish aur Indian drama mein sey kisi ek ko pick karna hoga toh I will pic Indian Dramas even they are better then Turkish Soapson Jun 4, 2014
Zee should check out the Turkish Dramas dubbed in Urdu also. They are a hit with the Pakistani audience and I am sure the Hindi/ Urdu speakers will enjoy them also.on Jun 3, 2014
Madam, shukar karo aap ka drama dikhanay lagey hain. Aap unn logon ko Turkish ki taraf bula rahi hain? To me Turkish drama sey badi baqwas koi nahi hai, Indian drama phir bhi acha hai Turkish sey mujhy toh Turkish style hi nahi pasand, acting fazool haion Jun 4, 2014
I used to watch Pakistani shows online, finally I will get to see them on our national TV. Good move by Zee. No doubt, Pakistani TV industry is commendable! We should also learn from themon Jun 3, 2014
Good for Indian audiences that we will have some quality pakistani tv dramas to watch instead of watching crap Indian content. This channel will surely grow in future as paki dramas are too different and powerful as compared to our dramason Jun 2, 2014
Pakistani Drama and TV is far more superior then Indian Tv which is primarily based on films as well, only this channel has show content that produced, directed, written in Pakistan, indian involvement will not work for Pakistani content.on Jun 2, 2014
you are right Arbab inn logon ko original Pakistani dramas hi Indian Audience ko dikhana chahiye Remake ka maza nahi hai zra bhion Jun 4, 2014