Times Group to launch 2 channels in Q2 08


MUMBAI: Times Group, which already operates two channels namely Zoom (lifestyle) and Times Now (news) is planning to launch two more channels by the second quarter of 2008. Plans are also afoot to chart out a new business model for Zoom.


Speaking exclusively to Businessofcinema.com, Zoom TV business head M K Anand says, “One channel will be revolving around Bollywood, but of course it will be different from Zoom. The other one too will be on the lines of the parent channel.” However, he refrained from divulging more information about the two channels in the offing.


Talking about the investment plan for the new channels, Anand adds, “The investments will be on the lines of Zoom, which is approximately a Rs 100 crores (Rs 1 billion) business. The investments for the current business model of Zoom have certainly doubled from what they were earlier. Though, that doesn’t mean these channels will jump triple of what Zoom is, because we have to stick to the basic business model cut out for a channel.”


Zoom TV, which started off as a glamour and lifestyle channel, has narrowed its scope to purely Bollywood. The focus is now on Bollywood news based shows and the current strength of the team is 40. The channel also aims to increase its manpower by the first quarter of 2008.


Anand adds, “We are aiming for a huge expansion. By February we will be in a position to announce a slew of new shows. The process of a shift in programming was started in 2006 itself, but it will take shape now. We are also looking at a major technical investment; we now need to widen our digital scope, thus augmenting our video library.”


Presently, the channel has two dailies, Page 3 and Popkorn on air. Plans are now to embark on deep cinema documentaries. According to Anand, the channel reached its break even point in the eleventh quarter.


Plans are also afoot to launch Zoom’s broadband version, which will have all the clips being aired on the channel. The marketing activities around the new site will soon be launched.