Zee to launch a Telugu movie channel
Zee News Ltd (ZNL) has decided to launch a Telugu movie channel, adding to its existing bouquet of a general entertainment and a recently launched news channel.

The channel will be called Zee Cinemalu. "We have decided to launch a Telugu movie channel. It makes business sense for us as we have lapped up a lot of movies which we are currently using in our general entertainment channel," a source in the company says.

ZNL has applied to the Information and Broadcasting ministry and is waiting for approval. "We have obtained some level of maturity in that market. The movie channel will fortify our position in the Telugu market," the source adds.

Zee Telugu achieved a break even status in the second quarter of Fy'09, allowing the company the space to launch Telugu news channel Zee Gantalu in early April.

Zee lapped up close to 30 new movies in a deal size estimated at Rs 600 million. The roster included titles like Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Paandurangadu, Vinayakudu, Krishna, Ashta Chamma, Gorintaku, Bhadradri, Ready, Krishnarjuna, Nenu Meeku Thelusa, Okka Magadu, Bujji Gadu, Ontari, Navavasantham, Sasirekha Parinayam, Swagatham, Bhale Dongalu, Victory, Kantri, Surya S/o Krishnan, Sidhu from Sikakulam, Tulasi, Avakai Biryani and Maisamma IPS.

"We have been aggressively acquiring Telugu movies for over a year now. We will continue to do so as part of our strategy to build a good movie library," says the source.

Zee, however, has shelved its plans to launch a Bengali movie channel. "We are investing in Akaash Bangla where we have picked up a 26 per cent stake. We have dropped our plans to launch a Bengali movie channel," the source adds.