MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Zee Entertainment Enterprises, founded by Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra, is foraying into the Philippines with a Bollywood channel for the local audience, as the nation's biggest listed media company seeks to boost its viewership across south-east Asia amid a larger plan to become one of the top global players in the next four years.
Zee is targeting Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East as part of its proposed expansion in overseas that will help the company boost its viewership by five times from the current 959 million. Zee Sine is the third Bollywood channel launched by the company in the Asia-Pacific region, following Zee Bioskop in Indonesia and Zee Nung in Thailand.
"In line with our Vision 2020 goals, we have chalked out an aggressive international expansion plan, with Asia Pacific being one of the key regions," Amit Goenka, chief executive of the international broadcast business of ZEE, said in a statement. "Our entry into the Philippines will only further strengthen our presence."
Goenka said Zee sees huge potential in the Asia Pacific market, where the Pay-TV industry is expected to grow at an average of 13% on-year in the next five years.
The new channel--headed by Maria Liza Ginting, who heads Zee's Indonesia broadcast--features blockbuster movies from the network's Hindi film library that will be distributed through Cable Boss, one of the leading cable distributors in the country, Zee Entertainment said.
Last year, Zee forayed into English news channel for the global audience through Zee Media, as it aims to win a share of the global media and entertainment industry that it expects to grow at a compounded annual rate of 4% to $2.3 trillion by 2018. The company, which has several news channels in Hindi and nearly every regional Indian language, has roped in Rohit Gandhi, an Emmy-Award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist, to head its English news channel.
Zee Entertainment includes a number of international channels, including Zee World and Zee Magic that offers Indian content dubbed in English and French respectively, primarily directed at audiences in Africa. It offers an Arabic Bollywood channel -- Zee Aflam-in the Middle East. In Asia Pacific, it broadcasts Bollywood channels Zee Nung in Thai and Zee Bioskop in Bahasa for audiences in Thailand and Indonesia.
Zee Entertainment broadcasts to 169 countries across five continents, including North America and Europe.
Chandra, who set up a business empire ranging from amusement parks to infrastructure, launched India's first satellite television channel, Zee TV, in 1992. He later ended state-owned Doordarshan's monopoly by introducing the nation's first private news channel.
Shares of Zee Entertainment closed 0.83% higher at 387.40 rupees on the BSE on Wednesday. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index rose 0.07%.