Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) will continue to strategically keep away from showing fresh content on its free-to-air (FTA) Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Zee Anmol, taken from its flagship channel Zee TV.

Rival networks like Viacom18 have been feeding their FTA channels with some content from their main pay channels with less time lag. Rishtey, for example, has been successfully showing ‘Naagin season 2’ while it is running on sister channel Colors, albeit with a time lag. This has helped FTA channel Rishtey to move up the ratings ladder.

ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka admitted that as far as the FTA markets goes, Rishtey and Sony Pal are showing a lot more fresh content. But he rules out the possibility of ZEEL adopting such a strategy as it may harm subscription income.

“We will stick with our strategy of no on-air show going (from Zee TV) to the FTA channels because we have to safeguard our subscription income. This could potentially come under threat if such a step was to be taken,” Goenka told media analysts.

Goenka believes that Zee has enough library content to drive the FTA viewership market. “I think it is not only that some of the rival networks are being aggressive on the viewership front but also the fact that they do not have enough content in the library to show. So they end up using the fresh content. I think once their pay revenue starts hurting, it will get some semblance in the market. We will continue with our strategy and see how it plays out in the years to come,” Goenka said.

Will this trend hamper ad revenue growth as well? Goenka does not think so. “A large part of the FTA viewership is from rural and not the urban market. Pay TV viewers, however, are largely from urban and comparatively less from rural areas. The value proposition for advertisers to have a lower yield on FTA is exactly that,” he said. – Dream DTH