MUMBAI: Zee Media Corporation Ltd ( ZMCL) has converted its Rajasthan-focused news and entertainment channel into a pure-play news channel and changed its name to Zee Rajasthan News. The channel was earlier known as Zee Marudhara, airing a mix of news and entertainment content under the terrestrial entertainment network (TEN) format. The new tagline of the channel is ‘Khabaro Mein Dum, Sabse Aage Hum’ (Impact in our news, we are ahead of everyone). The changes are effective from 30 March, which is also celebrated as Rajasthan Day. “Zee Marudhara is now a pure-play news channel. The news genre is becoming larger, and considering the size and scale of Rajasthan, we feel that there is a need for a news channel,” ZMCL CEO AK Pandit told TelevisionPost.com. Apart from Zee Marudhara (Rajasthan), Zee Purvaiya (Bihar-Jharkhand) and Zee Kalinga (Odisha) were also operating under TEN. However, Pandit said that all the channels of the network are pure-play news. “That is the strategy of the company as far as ZMCL is concerned. All our entertainment channels are housed under ZEEL and as far as ZMCL is concerned, we want to have dedicated news and current affairs channels,” he averred. Asked about the company’s expansion plans, Pandit said that there is nothing in the immediate pipeline. It must be noted that ZMCL is planning to launch an English news as well as an English business news channel. “We will evaluate these opportunities as they come along,” he said. This is the second time the channel has been rebranded. Zee Marudhara was launched as Zee Rajasthan Plus in July 2013. The name of the channel was changed to Zee Marudhara in January 2014. It is a 24-hour Hindi language news and current affairs channel focused on the state of Rajasthan. The channel mainly covers regional as well as national and international news and current affairs, sports and entertainment. The flagship shows of Zee Marudhara were ‘Aaj Ki Badi Khabar’, ‘Marudhara Express’ and ‘Apno Shehar Apni Khabaran’. The channel was No 3 in the market in the October–December quarter of this fiscal with a relative share of 9.3 per cent, as per TAM data (sourced from subscribers), C&S 15+, Rajasthan.
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