March 2020


Big broadcasters are migrating to the OTT bandwagon and it’s at the cost of the traditional broadcasting. The numbers are looking good in the OTT sector. Recently in a major move ZEEL announced that it’s shutting its only two linear channels, ZEE TV and ZEE Cinema in the UK.

The numbers have been waning for traditional television channels. ZEE TV has been struggling in UK ratings since it joined BARB. Similarly, the company axed &TV, Zing, Living Foodz and ZEE TV HD from both Sky and Virgin Media earlier this year. However, the channels continue to broadcast on ZEEL’s digital platform, ZEE5 – a trend which will be followed by ZEE TV and ZEE Cinema soon.

Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO of ZEEL believe that OTT is the way ahead and stated that “My household, which never watched linear TV, has started watching OTT. It is incremental viewership; it’s not at the cost of anything. Flip to the international markets: I myself will shut down linear businesses in several markets and operate only through OTT.”

This will make ZEEL the first major Indian broadcaster to axe all of its linear channels in UK/Europe market. The company already is promoting ZEE5 heavily, with regular on-air promos, on-screen Astons and on-ground events using the ZEE5 branding. However, it will be a good few months before the channels disappear due to contractual agreements in place with Sky and Virgin Media.

And Sun TV’s OTT platform Sun NXT has turned profitable and has amassed 15 million subscribers.

“Our Sun NXT platform is forging ahead with subscriber count reaching about 15 million people. And I’m also proud to share that our OTT has turned the corner and has now started making profits. So in the last couple of years, we were in an investing phase” the management said.

The company has budgeted ₹ 150 crore investment plans for Sun NXT till March 2021. Sun NXT has not spent anything till date. The main revenue contributor for Sun NXT is the subscription. The company is following the SVOD model for Sun NXT. They have a tieup with Reliance Jio Cinema for one year where they will pay a flat fee. They are expecting good revenue from this tie-up. n