The Indian government has announced the approval of the merger between Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India. The merger is expected to be completed in 2022. The new company will have a revenue of approximately 8,200 billion rupees and will employ over 300 people. India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting approved the merger on April 12th, 2019. This was after providing an additional 30 days for public consultation because the merger could potentially change ownership rules in Media Producers’ Association.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is an Indian mass media and entertainment company based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The company was founded by Subhash Chandra in December 1992 and started as a producer of Hindi films. ZEEL also entered the international market by setting up B4U Music. It has a satellite sports network – Zee Sports, with channels dedicated to the experience of cricket, football and other sporting events. ZEEL is listed on both the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Sony Pictures Networks India Limited is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. The company operates regional entertainment channels, encompassing sports and general entertainment brands. It also offers non-linear online digital video services. Its regional channels include Sony Pal, Sony Mix, Sony Max, SET Max and PIX.
Zee Entertainment has the following channels:
Zee Television Network, formerly Zee TV, is an Indian satellite television channel owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. It is the flagship channel of ZEEL and was launched on 20 November 1997. The channel primarily broadcasts news, movies and sports television programs. In 2007–08, the then group CEO Subhash Chandra took a stand against the ban of “Bigg Boss” in India by the Indian government, so as to show solidarity with fellow actor Sanjay Dutt who was in jail for his part in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
Zee is carried by over 3 billion people in Asia, and is available on satellite and cable TV. The Zee TV channel was launched in 1992 as a Bharatavani affiliate. In 1997, Zee television was acquired by a joint venture of Sony Corporation and News Corporation after both companies had won the rights to buy it from the government. In 2003, Sony’s share was acquired by News Corporation for $1.
Zee-Sony merger receives approval from BSE, NSE
The merger will help the company become “a global content powerhouse”, said a Zee spokesperson. The merged entity will have a revenue of $7-8 billion and a group net worth of around $15 billion. Sony Pictures Entertainment is an American film studio, entertainment company and division of Sony Entertainment founded on June 18, 1987. It produces, acquires and distributes filmed entertainment in both theatrically and through television channels.
Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd is a sports broadcasting network in India owned by Sony Pictures Networks. SPSNL is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television. It operates Sony Kix and Sony Ten, which are the male-oriented channels, and Sony Yay!, which is female-oriented channel. In addition, it operates several sports websites.
Sony Pictures Television is an American television production and distribution studio founded in 2002 as a division of Sony Pictures. In May 2016, SPT acquired the remaining stake in UTV Software Communications which it did not own. It produces shows like the sitcom Outsourced and drama series Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and Homeland.
B4U Music is a record label and music publishing company, founded by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. It is the music arm of Zee’s music division, which primarily deals in Hindi and regional language songs. Zee Music Company Limited (ZML), was launched in 2008 as a joint venture between Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Sony BMG. It was set up to produce and market music for ZEE TV channel.
Firm and positive step: Zee- sony merger gets BSE, NSE nod
Sony Pictures Networks India’s shareholding in Zee Entertainment (formerly Zee Entertainment Enterprises) rose to 81.6 per cent from 76.47 per cent after the purchase of the remaining stake from UTV Software Communications Pvt. Ltd, which it did not own, for $2.7 billion in 2016. Both the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange have cleared the deal. The new company will be one of India’s largest private sector media conglomerates. It will be valued at $13-$14 billion, or about Rs 95,000 crore.
After the merger, Zee Entertainment will overtake Star India Pvt Ltd as India’s largest media company by revenues. Star is currently valued at Rs 79,300 crore. The merger will replace Zee with a larger entity called Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited. Zee, which had assets of Rs 1 lakh crore ($15 billion) at the time of the merger, will continue to exist as an entity after the deal is completed. The company will be larger at nearly Rs 4 lakh crore ($68 billion), compared with $6.4 billion for Zee and $3.3 billion for Star India according to data from BSE and NSE respectively.
In 2018, ZEEL’s cable joint venture with Hathway and Den Networks was selected as the exclusive distribution partner for Sony LIV, Sony’s OTT platform in India. The channel was launched on February 10th, 2019. It broadcasts live sports events across genres including International Cricket Council (ICC), National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Australian Football League (AFL), Premiere League, La Liga and Serie A.
The channel was launched in the Middle East in 2006 and focused on popular reality TV shows from the region, which were translated into Arabic. In 2018, the channel was acquired by ZEEL. Zee TV Middle East is available in over eight countries of the Middle East, Africa and Europe. It offers more than 240 hours of regional, Hindi-language programming every week to over 20 million households spanning five different languages: English, Arabic, Persian, Gujarati and Bangla subtitles.
Zee is an online digital video offering. It offers free content like TV shows and films as well as premium content like films and live sports events through its platform www.zeeplay.com. Zee currently has over 250 TV shows and films on offer, which are accessible across multiple devices like phones, tablets, laptops/desktops and Smart TVs.
Zee Entertainment receives OK from stock exchanges for composite scheme of arrangement
The scheme will lead to merger of ZEEL with Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd, a company in which ZEEL had acquired 76.47% stake in 2017 and was to acquire the remaining 23.53% stake, subject to conditions of Sebi. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited and its subsidiaries provide Hindi entertainment content through television channels, film production and distribution, digital video services and online content delivery network across the world.
On August 29, 2017, the Board of Directors of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited has approved the scheme of arrangement as advised by BSE and NSE. The composite scheme will be effected in such a manner that its foreign subsidiaries will be merged with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited and its domestic subsidiaries will be merged with Sony Picture Networks India Pvt Ltd Limited.
Zee Telefilms Limited (ZTL) was incorporated in 1996 as a public limited company and commenced business in 1997 as a developer of content for television broadcast. It currently focuses on the production and distribution of Hindi movies under the brand Zee Cinema. The company is engaged in film production, acquisition of rights for TV channels, digital media content, broadcasting and subscription revenue from satellite channels and international distribution rights. It also distributes programming content to various TV networks through its subsidiary – ZEE Media Distribution Limited.
The following are the Indian channels of Zee Entertainment.
Zee TV International general entertainment channels in ASEAN-4 in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. The channel is available on all platform like cable, satellite and IPTV. Zee TV India is the English language television channel of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) offering programming from India and around the world. Zee News is an English news channel of ZEE news, a part of ZEEL Ltd.
Zee Youth is the Hindi language general entertainment channel of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL). The channel focuses on youth and also offers programmes in regional languages from India. ZEE 5 is a rotating music channel. This is a video on demand service for ZEE TV viewers, who want to hear tracks directly from the artistes across various genres. These artists include music directors, remixers and other popular Indian playback singers or instrumentalists.
ZEE- Sony merger decoded: What this means for existing shareholders
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) announced a merger between itself and Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd on Wednesday. ZEEL currently holds a 76.47% stake in SPNPL and will acquire a further 23.53%. The two companies will merge and be known as Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd. The scheme of arrangement will be effected in such a manner that its foreign subsidiaries will be merged with ZEEL and its domestic subsidiaries with SPNPL.
A composite scheme of arrangement was required by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) as ZEE had acquired a stake in SPNPL over the last few years, increasing the stake to 76.47% through share issuances to various entities. After the merger, existing shareholders of ZEE, who had been issued share warrants and right shares under the scheme will get a stock warrant of SPNPL. After the scheme is completed, those shares will be compulsorily convertible into shares of SPNPL on a 1:1 basis.
The deal will give a second wind to the Indian media industry, which has been facing pressure in the last few months, especially due to digital and regulatory pressures. The deal is expected to bring synergies between the two companies as they are largely complementary. The merger will place Zee Entertainment at a higher valuation than Star India.
The company is involved in media distribution, digital media, film and television production and distribution in India, UK and US. ZEE entered the Indian entertainment industry in 1987. The group started with Indian regional language channels. The group has now expanded to regional and English channels in the Middle East and South East Asia. In 2011, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd acquired a controlling stake in Bengaluru-based “Media House” for about Rs 1,300 crore (about $230 million as of 2010).
The company is involved in media distribution, digital media, film and television production and distribution in India, UK and US. It has interests in the Indian television industry. ZEE began as a Hindi language Indian cable channel launched in 1992 by Essel Group. When it began broadcasting, it was the first Hindi-language “Indian cable channel” to air 24 hours a day.
ZEE Entertainment- Culver Max Merger proposal gets BSE, NSE nod
The proposed acquisition is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited’s efforts to expand into the entertainment and digital media sector. The company, along with its subsidiaries, provides Hindi entertainment content through television channels, film production and distribution, digital video services and online content delivery network across the world. The company was incorporated in 1996 as a public limited company.
It currently focuses on the production and distribution of Hindi movies under the brand Zee Cinema. The company is engaged in film production, acquisition of rights for TV channels, digital media content, broadcasting and subscription revenue from satellite channels and international distribution rights.
It also distributes programming content to various TV networks through its subsidiary – ZEE Media Distribution Limited. ZEEL has been facing regulatory hurdles in the last few months mainly due to a probe by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into potential violation of competition norms by two companies, ZEEL and Multi Screen Media (MSM). The CCI has been looking at alleged anti-competitive conduct in the media industry and had sought information from all parties involved in the digital broadcast sector.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is investing more than Rs 500 crore to strengthen its presence in the UK and North America. The company aims to expand its business portfolio in these markets by acquiring a controlling stake in a leading broadcaster. It presently has a portfolio of over 50 channels, of which the largest is Zee News and the second largest is Zee Cinema. The acquisition would be in addition to two channels acquired for $66 million in 2015 and four others for about $500 million.
Broadcast distribution services (BDS), through the company’s subsidiary ZEE TV International, provides television programmes exclusively to operators of pay television platforms like cable systems, satellite and IPTV providers.
Zee- sony merger receives approval from stock exchanges
The proposed merger received approval from the stock exchanges on June 28. ZEEL will hold 23.53% stake in SPNPL and 76.47% in ZEE as per the scheme of arrangement approved by the BSE and NSE, respectively. Essel Group chairman Shashi Ruia said, “We have entered into this merger with a conscious decision to use synergies and efficiencies to position ourselves better in the digital future.”
In addition to the six channels, it also has a film production, distribution and digital media business. The company entered the international market in 2015 with the acquisition of 51% stake in United States-based broadcaster Skyline Entertainment LLC. It recently bought UK-based broadcaster Sky Living Limited. In 2017, it acquired a 33% stake in US television network Spike Network from Viacom Inc for about $31 million (approximately Rs 220 crore).
It is a reputed Indian broadcasting company that primarily operates its business through five channels under the brand names of Zee News, Zee Hindustan, Zee Business, Zee Salaam and Zindagi. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The channel was started in May 2002 and was founded by Subhash Chandra.
The deal may bring a new lease of life for the Indian media industry which has been facing financial crisis. Star is primarily focussed on sports and entertainment programming, which is why this deal makes them a strong player in the media industry. ZEE Entertainment has been trying to expand their business portfolio and is now looking to take advantage of their competitors.
As the merger of two major media houses will give the company a strong hold on the Indian media industry and allows them to expand their business portfolio. This will result in more strength and flexibility on regulatory issues especially with regards to anti-trust rules. Although the partnership will be beneficial to both the companies, it is also of an equal concern due to the violation of competition norms. Both the companies are currently facing competition from global players like Netflix and Amazon Prime which have a strong presence in media distribution and digital content.
There is a possibility that these media giants may lose their clientele as a result of this merger. This merger will bring dramatic change in the way content is being provided to clients and will offer new ways to consume media. The merger is profitable and restricts the entry of other players in the media industry. ZEE Entertainment has been trying to expand its business portfolio in the UK and US, but with this development it will be able to take its business to a higher level.
ZEE TV is a 24/7 Hindi Entertainment Channel operated by Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) which provides entertainment content through television channels, film production and distribution, digital video services and online content delivery network across the world. ZEEL also distributes programming content to various TV networks through it’s subsidiary ZEE Media Distribution Limited.
ZEE TV offers over 50 television channels, in 15 languages including six Hindi TV channels and several regional language channels such as Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Bengali. ZEE TV also operates a wide range of digital media services, including the world’s most watched movie channel ZEE Cinema.