India's Zee Nets to air in China


NEW DELHI -- Mumbai-based Indian broadcasting group Zee Networks has been granted access to the Chinese market, Indian media reported late Tuesday from Beijing. The move, announced by Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, came after high-level trade talks.

Zee will be part of a bouquet of channels offered by satellite operators in China, Nath said told reporters at the India-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit in Beijing, which coincided with the three-day visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China.

Similar permission was given to China Central Television's English channel, CCTV International (CCTV-9), by the Indian government more than a week ago, Nath said. "This will help in enhancing interactions in the field of entertainment," he said.

Last August, the first Indian feature film to be shot in China was announced when Warner Bros. said it would begin shooting the action comedy "Made in China," with director Nikhil Advani, this month (HR 8/24).

Zee applied for landing rights permission in September 2006 to offer a specially programmed 24-hour channel for China.

At that time, Zee announced a two-year alliance with CCTV that entailed CCTV licensing Zee Networks the use of news and other programs from CCTV-9 and allowing Zee to transmit its services on its network.

In addition, Zee and CCTV networks also planned to hold a China TV Week in India and an India TV Week in China, with TV hosts from both countries co-presenting daily half-hour specials.