Strategic Licensing 

After 16-years, Zee and Turner International end distribution pact

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Turner International have ended a 16-year-old strategic partnership on Monday (March 26).

Media reports suggest Turner is planning to associate with IndiaCast Media Distribution for taking care of its circulation. As per the collaboration, IndiaCast will distribute Turner channels from April 1, 218.

Both the companies have mutually decided to work independently to drive subscription revenues.

The two brands had joined hands in 2002 to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels in India.

“Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) and Turner International (Turner), after nearly two decades of successful strategic collaboration, have mutually decided to work independently for driving Subscription Revenues,” the two parties said in a joint statement.

“ZEE and Turner joined hands back in 2002 to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels in India. As both parties continue to explore avenues for growth, we jointly take this opportunity to thank our value chain partners to have supported us through our journey,” the statement further added.

Turner, an American entertainment and distribution brand, is known for creating and managing the sales, distribution and marketing of news and entertainment brands. Turner Asia Pacific is the parent company of Turner International India Pvt. Ltd. (Turner India), which operates 63 channels in 13 languages in 37 countries in the region.

Turner India’s portfolio includes CNN International, Cartoon Network, POGO, Toonami, HBO, and WB. It is also planning to launch Cartoon Network HD+. This will be the second HD channel after HBO HD.

Subhash Chandra-led media and entertainment company ZEEL, meanwhile, is present across broadcasting, movies, music, digital, live entertainment and theatre businesses, both within India and overseas. Owned by the Essel Group, it is one of India’s oldest media organizations.

Industry experts believe the collaboration made sense earlier given Turner’s bouquet of cartoon and kids’ channels, which ZEE had no expertise in.

In 2010, Zee Turner had joined hands with Star DEN, a 50:50 distribution JV between Star India and DEN Networks, to form distribution behemoth MediaPro.

The equal JV was called off in 2014 following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) regulation barring bundling of channels between different broadcasters.

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