News has ventured into the news consultancy business with the launch of a new division, News Consultancy Services (NCS).
Barun Das, chief executive officer, Zee News, says, "In this consultancy business, we will provide services to clients in markets in which we, as a brand, do not plan to enter in the near future. On our part, there is no new investment or equity holding as this is a franchisee deal. In fact, the new business will contribute directly to our bottomline."
NCS will leverage the company's intellectual property in terms of brand, expertise and experience to contribute to its growth.
Das is quick to point out that the backend support for NCS is in place. A dedicated inhouse mobile squad will provide marketing, research, technical, legal and production services to the franchisee.
Zee's new venture has started off with a bang. NCS has been appointed to launch a 24x7 regional news channel, Zee 24 Ghante Chattisgarh, under a franchise agreement with SB Multimedia.
SB multimedia has the backing of a leading business group, Goel TMT, in Chattisgarh. The business group has substantial interests in the trade and manufacture of timber, rice, cement, plywood and steel. Zee 24 Ghante Chattisgarh marks the group's entry into the media and entertainment business.
Das adds, "As a company, we are in a resurgent mode and have quite a few things planned for the future. Following the re-launch of our Hindi news channel, Zee News, we will be taking up similar activities for our other flagship channels, too. We are also exploring opportunities for an English channel."