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Zee plans to launch a channel with Russia's Sistema Mass-Media

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 23, 2010
Sistema Mass-Media JSC shall assist Zee CIS LLC to distribute its channels on the networks affiliated to Sistema Mass-Media, while Zee Entertainment shall facilitate localisation and distribution of various Sistema Mass-Media channels in India and several other countries.

Zee CIS LLC and Sistema Mass-Media have signed a Letter of Intent on cooperation in the field of TV content distribution and broadcast in India, Russia and several other countries.

According to the agreement, Sistema Mass-Media JSC (which manages the media assets of JSFC Sistema) shall assist Zee CIS LLC in its attempt to distribute its channels on the networks affiliated with Sistema Mass-Media, while Zee Entertainment shall facilitate localisation and distribution of a number of Sistema Mass-Media channels in India and several other countries.

Speaking about it, Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), says, "India and Russia share a rich history of trade and cultural exchanges. Cultural themes, content and entertainment are some of the spheres where India and Russia have a lot to offer to each other. People to people interaction and media relationships between two countries can play a pivotal role in strengthening significant ties between two economies.

"Zee Russia has always had a good working relationship with Sistema Mass-Media in the past, which has had a synergistic impact in the business operations of both organisations. I am hopeful that Zee and Sistema, with their content and distribution strengths in their respective markets, will pave way to a great partnership leading to a bright future together."

Bharat Ranga, chief executive officer, international business, ZEEL, says, "Zee Russia, since its inception in the Russian market, has made an enormous impact on the minds and hearts of the Russian audience. As an initiative, Zee Smile has recently aired the Russian TV serial, Indian, which has footprints all over India and Asia. This is a mark to further strengthen our relationship with the Sistema Group. I am sure that with the strength of Zee's content and Sistema's distribution, we will be able to capture the local market."

Andrei Smirnov, president, Sistema Mass-Media, says, "For Sistema Mass-Media, the Memorandum of Understanding with Zee Russia LLC is an important and crucial step in resuming the Indo-Russian relationship in the field of film and television. We are very interested in implementing all intended projects as soon as possible and we see enormous potential for further creative, business and, what is even more important, innovative cooperation."

The companies also agreed on mutual acquisition of content to be aired on the networks of Sistema Mass-Media and Zee Entertainment. Both shall even explore the possibility of launching a joint TV channel, acquiring terrestrial frequency for broadcasting it and co-producing TV and film content.