Zee Network has launched its food channel, Zee Khana Khazana. The channel, currently on air, is a pay channel and has been priced at Rs 15.
Speaking on the launch, Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), says, "We are here today because we have always pre-empted our viewers' changing needs and catered accordingly. Zee Entertainment was the first to launch India's first GEC, Zee TV, followed by Zee Cinema and many more channels that have defined genres.
Anurag Bedi, business head, Zee Cafe and Zee Studio, will also head the new food channel. The 24 hour channel has a programming mix from across India and abroad, featuring shows such as High on Food, Chef's Special, A Touch of Turmeric and Khana Khazana. The international content is all about culinary adventure, with shows such as The Hairy Bikers Cook Book, Chefs - Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Saturday Kitchen series, Gino D'acampo - An Italian in Mexico and James Martin Favourite Feasts.
According to Goenka, niche is the way forward in the television space. He adds, "A 24-hour food channel is the perfect addition to our niche bouquet of Zee Café, Zee Studio, ETC, Zing and Zee Trendz. Our niche offering will continue to expand and offer our viewers new channels."
Currently, the channel will be available on Dish TV, apart from cable platforms.
In order to maintain popularity, Zee seems to have named the channel Zee Khana Khazana based on its popular cookery show, Khana Khazana, which is being hosted by chef Sanjeev Kapoor. What's more, the promos of the show feature Kapoor. Khana Khazana has completed more than 880 episodes and is being telecast for 17 years.
In the meantime, Kapoor is gearing up to launch his own food channel, Food Food, a joint venture between Astro All Asia Networks (Astro) and the television company owned by Sanjeev Kapoor.
While Zee claims to have a long term contract with Kapoor, when contacted, Kapoor cleans the air by saying, "I have no contract with Zee TV. It's the production house, Mehta and Merlin Production, which has a contract and is free to use any host."