India’s Zee expands in U.S., partners with Dish, Sling

Indian media giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises has struck a deal with American broadcasters Sling TV and Dish to bring 27 more South Asian channels to the U.S.
June 20, 2016

Indian media giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises is partnering with American broadcasters Sling TV and Dish in an attempt to expand its reach in the U.S.

Under the deal, Dish and Sling TV will carry 27 new channels in addition to the existing 10 Zee channels. Altogether, Zee will now have a total of 37 channels in the U.S. with a combined reach of 52 million households. The channels will be made available in such languages as Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Rajasthani and Urdu.

In addition, the American channels will hold the exclusive U.S. rights to Zee’s premium on-demand library – which houses more than 400 video titles – with Sling TV scheduled to become the exclusive over-the-top provider in the U.S. for all but one of Zee’s South Asian channels.

Zee is to transition viewers from its direct-to-consumer services to Sling TV or to authenticated access in the coming months.

Elsewhere, Sling TV and Dish are to launch the ‘Hindi Gold Pack,’ set to contain Hindi channels. Popular Hindi channel &TV, meanwhile, will be added to the networks’ 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.’

Meanwhile, the networks’ subscribers will also be able to access two new Spanish-language channels, Z Living Español and Zee TV Español; two Brazilian channels, Zee TV Portuguese and Z Living Portuguese; and two Arabic channels, Zee Alwan and Zee Aflam.

“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 VP of programming for Sling TV and Dish, in a statement. “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.”

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.