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Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) India’s leading media conglomerate, has secured what it describes as a “landmark” agreement with satellite platform DISH and OTT service Sling TV to further strengthen its presence in the US Territory. As a part of the agreement, DISH and Sling TV will carry 27 new channels in addition to the existing 10 ZEE channels, which will be available in varied languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Rajasthani and Urdu. Following the deal, the total number of ZEE channels available in the US market will be 37 with a combined reach of 52 million homes (that includes English and Spanish HHs).
In addition, Sling TV and DISH will be the exclusive provider in the US of ZEE’s premium on-demand library, which includes movies and over 400 additional popular video titles. Over time, Sling TV will become the exclusive over-the-top (OTT) provider in the US for all but one of ZEE’s South Asian channels. In the coming months, ZEE will transition viewers from its direct-to-consumer services to Sling TV or to authenticated access only.
Amit Goenka, CEO-International Broadcast Business, ZEEL said that America was one of the most important markets for our International business. “The deal with DISH further consolidates our leadership position and is in line with our ambitious 2020 goals. We are very delighted to announce that with this deal not only has our reach in the Mainstream American market for our Z Living network quadrupled, but we will also now be serving the high potential Spanish language subscribers with two 24:7 networks. With this deal we will cater to 16 different language groups in America across five genres. ZEE and DISH have been natural partners for the last 18 years and we both share our vision on future growth of pay TV in USA.”
“Our agreement with ZEE enables us to provide a vast amount of entertainment to fans of South Asian content, while also giving customers a more streamlined way to access and enjoy both linear and on-demand content,” said Chris Kuelling, Senior Vice President of Programming for Sling TV and DISH. “ZEE shares our goal of growing the South Asian market, and together we are able to better serve this community, as well as the other language groups served by ZEE.”
To broaden the options available to fans of South Asian content, Sling TV and DISH are launching a new ‘Hindi Gold Pack,’ which will contain all of the ZEE Hindi channels, plus other leading Hindi channels. In addition, &TV, one of the most requested Hindi channels by current Sling TV and DISH customers, will be added to the existing lineup. ZEE’s on-demand content will be available at no additional charge to DISH and Sling TV subscribers with the Hindi Gold Pack.
DISH and Sling TV will also add two Spanish-language channels, Z Living Español and Zee TV Español, and two Brazilian channels, Zee TV Portuguese and Z Living Portuguese, to their respective line-ups. The new Spanish channels can be found on DISH in the DishLATINO Clasico, DishLATINO Dos, DishLATINO Plus and DishLATINO Max packages, and the Best of Spanish TV package on Sling Latino.
Zee Alwan and Zee Aflam, two popular Arabic channels will launch in the DISH Arabic Super Elite and the Arabic Mosaic Pack on Sling TV as well.