MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra-promoted
Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) is
converting its Uttar Pradesh/
Uttarakhand-focused regional news
channel Zee Sangam into a national
Hindi news channel named India 24X7.
The new channel will be inaugurated
by Chandra on 24 October.
India 24X7 will be a free-to-air
channel that will be available across
all platforms in the Hindi speaking
market. It will complement ZMCL’s
Hindi news channel Zee News.
Incidentally, India 24X7 will be the
first news channel from Zee Media
stable without the Zee brand.
“Zee Sangam is being converted into a
national channel called India 24X7.
The channel will be inaugurated by
Subhash Chandra on 24 October,” said
a source close to the development.
While Zee News competes with top
channels in the Hindi news genre like
Aaj Tak, ABP News, and India TV,
India 24X7 will compete with FTA
channels like News Nation, News24
and India News.
The source said that the Hindi news
genre is worth Rs 1,200 crore (Rs 12
billion), of which the FTA channels
partake as much as Rs 550 crore (Rs
5.5 billion). It is this market that
India 24X7 wants to capture.
“There is a big fight between the top
five and bottom six. There is a good
amount of money that is going
towards the channels at the bottom
six also. We want to have a better
share of revenue in that market
also,” the source added.
Zee Sangam was being headed by ZMCL
editor of news operations Vasindra
Mishra. There is no clarity yet on who
will head the new channel.
“ZEE Sangam is being converted into a
national channel,” Mishra posted on
his Twitter account.
In a separate Facebook post, he
mentioned, “Our chairman Sri Subhash
Chandra ji will inaugurate another
Hindi national news channel INDIA
24X7 on October 24, 2015.”
With Zee Sangam being converted into
India 24X7, ZMCL will not have a
dedicated channel for UP/
Uttarakhand, which has several
players like ETV UP/UK, India News
UP/UK, Samay UP/UK, News Nation UP/
UK and more.
Pertinently, ZMCL is planning to
launch an English news channel in
February/March next year. It will be
an international news channel with an
Indian point of view. Chandra had
recently stated that the English news
channel would be positioned as a
The company is in talks with CNN for
the proposed channel. Rohit Gandhi,
who is ZMCL’s editor-in-chief of
English news broadcast and related
content, will head the new channel.
ZMCL owns two national news
channels (Zee News and Zee Business)
and a clutch of regional news
channels, Zee 24 Taas (Marathi), Zee
Sangam (UP & UK), Zee Madhya
Pradesh Chhattisgarh, Zee Marudhara
(Rajasthan), Zee Punjab Haryana
Himachal and Zee Kalinga (Odisha).
Additionally it operates two regional
news channels through its
subsidiaries, 24 Ghanta (Bengali)
through Zee Akaash News Pvt Ltd and
Maurya TV (Bihar & Jharkhand)
through Maurya TV Private Limited.
The network claims that it reaches
over 78.5 million viewers across the
country through its television
network (Source: BARC, NCCS 4+, All
India, ZMCL Channels, June 2015
Zee Sangam, along with Zee
Marudhara (soon to be Zee Rajasthan
News) and Zee Kalinga, was earlier
part of Terrestrial Entertainment
Network (Ten) format, which was a
mix of news and entertainment
programming. However, the network
later moved away from the Ten
format to focus purely on news.
The company had acquired Bihar news
channel Maurya TV in October 2013. It
had entered into a share purchase
agreement (SPA) with Maurya TV
promoters Prakash Jha, Sangita Jha,
Manmohan Shetty and Krishanlal
Chabbra to acquire 100 per cent stake
in the company.
The company held 37.87 per cent stake
in MTPL until 11 December 2014, which
was later hiked to 100 per cent, thus
making it a wholly owned subsidiary.
ZMCL had bought Maurya TV for an
aggregate value of Rs 7.79 crore (Rs