Anil Ambani’s Reliance ADA Group is to further cut back its involvement in the Indian media and entertainment industry.In two transactions with a total value of some $283 million, Reliance Capital will sell the entirety of its remaining TV business to Zee Entertainment and a 49% stake in FM radio operations to Zee Media.The TV businesses under Reliance Big Broadcasting, Big Magic and Azalia Television include two general entertainment channels and four specialty channels.The radio group includes 45 radio stations...
Under Punit Goenka’s stewardship, the Zee bouquet of channels has grown to 33 Indian domestic and 38 international with a viewership of 1 billion spread across 171 countries that covers the gamut of the entertainment, sports and news spectrum. Financially, Goenka has steered the group to a year-on-year growth of nearly 20 percent, with revenues now at $867 million.
Zee’s filmmaking subdivisions Essel Vision Productions and Zee Studios have in the past three years revitalized the Marathi-language film industry and made it a major player in an Indian market otherwise dominated by the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language industries. Marathi hits include “Lai Bhaari”, “Katyar Kaljat Ghusali” and “Natsamrat”.
In 2016, Marathi cinema was planted firmly on the world map with the selection of “Sairat” at Berlin where it was nominated for a Crystal Bear and the film earned $16 billion, making it the biggest hit in the history of the region.
The group has a library of more than 3000 Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi language titles and much of its international profile is repurposing these across world territories with local subtitles or dubbed versions. Goenka’s avowed ambition is to go global and he has launched footprints across the world. In 2016, he and his brother Amit launched Spanish language channel Zee Mundo featuring dubbed Bollywood content as an alternative to Hollywood.
Zee is a Goenka family run business and Punit apprenticed across the group’s divisions before assuming charge in 2008.