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Zee to launch German channel

India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises is launching a free-to-air channel in Germany.

The Essel Group-owned firm is aiming to launch the 24-hour channel by mid-2016, offering Bollywood movies, Indian series and entertainment and general-interest shows.

Former Magine TV head Friederike Behrends will take charge of business operations in the country.

“Bollywood content offers a much broader spectrum than is known on German television,” she said.

“The aim is to enhance Germany’s entertainment offering by introducing an entirely new genre. We intend to capture the hearts of German viewers with Bollywood.”

Behrends added that the firm is currently in talks with German TV platform operators “with a view to expanding the reach as quickly as possible on a broad scale via all transmission paths.”

Amit Goenka, CEO of international broadcast business at Zee, said: “Our foray into Germany is a major step as part of our international expansion strategy.

“The objective is to establish a lasting presence and grow in the German television market. With our highest levels of entertainment and new content, we are confident of being able to offer our German viewers an attractive enrichment to the existing range of television offerings.”

The new channel’s core target group will be females aged 19 to 59.

Last week, German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 announced it had shut down the global OTT service that accompanies its international TV channel ProSiebenSat.1 Welt. That news came just days after German broadcaster RTL revealed it was launching its international pay TV channel for viewers outside German-speaking countries this month.

Zee TV recently became the latest broadcaster to commission a junior version of Talpa talent format The Voice.

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