Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd is one of India's leading television, media and entertainment companies. The company is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world, with an extensive library housing over 100,000 hours of television content. With rights to more than 3,000 movie titles from foremost studios and of iconic film stars, Zee houses the world's largest Hindi film library. Through their strong presence worldwide, Zee entertains over 500 million viewers across 167 countries.
The company is a pioneer of television entertainment industry in India. Their well known brands include Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, Zee Action, Zee Classic, Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action+, Zee Cafe, Zee Studio, Zee Trendz, Zee Khana Khazana, Zee Salaam, Zee Jagran, Zing, ETC Music and ETC Punjabi. The company also has a strong offering in the regional language domain with channels such as Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada, Zee Talkies and Zee Cinemalu.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd was incorporated in the year 1982. The company was previously known as Zee Telefilms Ltd. In the year 1992, the company launched their flagship television channel Zee TV. Since then, they have transformed themselves into an integrated media conglomerate with operations spanning the entire media spectrum including television programming; satellite broadcasting; production and distribution of films; music publishing, long distance education and the creation of animation software.
In the year 1994, Zee Records, the music-publishing arm of Zee, commenced their operations. Also, they launched Zee Education as a division of the company. The company's 100% owned subsidiary, Siticable Networks Ltd (Siticable) commenced their operations as an MSO in Delhi for cable distribution system in India.
In the year 1995, Newscorp acquired a 50% stake in Siticable Networks Ltd in an equal joint venture with the company. The company launched Zee TV in the UK / Europe. Also, they launched Zee News and Zee Cinema. In the year 1996, the company started their first cable channel in India under the name of Siti Channel. In the year 1997, they launched Zee Music (originally known as Music Asia).
In the year 1998, the company launched Zee TV in the USA. Also, they launched Zee Cine Awards. During the year 1998-99, the company obtained 'A' category license for providing Internet services in India.
During the year 1999-2000, the company acquired 50% stake in Asia Today Ltd, Siticable and Programme Asia Trading Company Ltd. They launched four regional channels under the umbrella brand of Alpha, namely Alpha Marathi, Alpha Bangla, Alpha Punjabi and Alpha Gujarato. Also, they launched two new 24-hour channels, namely Zee English and Zee Movies to enter the English language market. They launched two new channels namely Zee Bangla and Musia Asia in UK and launched Zee Gold in USA.
During the year, the education division of the company was demerged and transferred to a separate subsidiary company namely, Zee Interactive Learning Systems Ltd. In September 1999, the company acquired Zee Multimedia Worldwide Ltd and thus all the international operations including the broadcasting business of ZMWL came under the company's control.
During the year 2000-01, the company launched the Direct-to-Operator (DTO) encrypted channel bouquet comprising of Zee Cinema, four Alpha channels and two English channels. Also, they divested their stake in Buddha Films Ltd (BFL), Zee Sports Ltd (ZSL) and Zee Publishing Ltd (ZPL).
During the year 2001-02, the company produced their first big budget movie 'Gadar -Ek Prem Katha'. They formed a joint venture company 'Zee Turner Pvt Ltd' to market and distribute the pay channel bouquet consisting of 14 channels of Zee and 3 channels of Turner in the Indian sub-continent, thereby creating a formidable combination of highly popular channels. They consolidated their operations by linking their various control rooms through HFC. Master Control Rooms (MCR) was established at Hyderabad and Bangalore linking the control rooms through optic fibre, thereby ensuring improvement in the quality of signal delivery to customers.
During the year, Zee Interactive Multimedia Ltd, a company set up to provide broadband and conditional access services, merged with Siticable Network Ltd. The company acquired a controlling stake in ETC Networks Ltd, a company engaged in production, marketing and distribution of two television channels with a leading presence in Music and Punjabi language segment. With these acquisitions ETC Networks Ltd became a subsidiary of the company. Also, the company acquired a controlling stake in Padmalaya Telefilms Ltd, a company engaged in production and distribution of feature films (in Telugu and Hindi languages) and television serials. During the year 2002-03, the company hived off two of the foreign subsidiaries namely Hokushan Trading Company Ltd and Asia TV USA, Inc. Also, three wholly owned subsidiaries were merged with the company.
During the year 2003-04, the company entered into an MoU with Zee News Ltd, a company 100% owned by Indian nationals, for transfer of physical infrastructure, the editorial and other staff etc, related to production and Broadcast of News and Current Affairs programme on Zee television channels including Zee News. Dakshin Media Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary company was amalgamated with the company. Further, the company consolidated operations of their foreign subsidiary company located at Mauritius by merging of Aisa TV (Africa) Ltd, Software Supplies (International) Ltd, Zee Telefilms International Ltd and Zee MGM Ltd with Asia Today Ltd, Mauritius. Also, another overseas subsidiary, Asia T.V. (Netherlands) Ltd, BVI had been liquidated.
During the year 2004-05, the company launched a new channel, namely Zee Sports to the meet the insatiable quest of Indian viewers to enjoy telecast of sports event in India and abroad. The company divested their stake in Padamalaya Enterprises Pvt Ltd, which was the holding company of Padamalaya Telefilms Ltd. Expand Fast Holdings Ltd, one of the overseas subsidiaries, merged with Asia Today Ltd, Mauritius (ATL). Also, ATL, the wholly owned subsidiary of Winterheath Company Ltd (WCL) merged with the holding company, WCL. After the merger, WCL changed its name to Asia Today Ltd. Also, ATL acquired 100% stake in Pan Asia Infrastructure Ltd, a Mauritius based company, engaged in the business of broadcast of television channel in middle east in South Asian language and development of media city in Dubai. During the year 2005-06, Siti Cable Network Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company acquired entire shares in Indian Cable Net Company Ltd.
During the year 2006-07, the company completed the process of de-merger of their News, Cable and Direct Consumer Services business undertakings. Respective resultant entities namely, Zee News Ltd (ZNL) for news business, Wire & Wireless (India) Ltd (WWIL) for cable business and Dish TV India Ltd (formerly known as ASC Enterprises Ltd) (Dish TV). Consequent to demerger of Cable and DCS Business Undertakings of the company, the subsidiaries of the company pertaining to the said Business Undertakings, namely, Siti Cable Network Ltd, Central Bombay Cable Networks Pvt Ltd, Integrated Subscribers Management Services Ltd, New Era Entertainment Network Ltd, Siti CableBroadband South Ltd and Indian Cable Net Company Ltd ceased to be subsidiaries of the company.
The company exited from their investment in 25 FPS Media Pvt Ltd (25 FPS) and consequently 25 FPS ceased to be a subsidiary with effect from July 24, 2006. In November 2006, Zee Sports International Ltd, Mauritius, acquired 50% stake with majority representation in the board in Taj TV Ltd, Mauritius, which owns 'Ten Sports' channel. Also, the company acquired 50% stake with majority representation in the board in Taj Television India Pvt Ltd, Mumbai which is the distribution arm of Ten Sports in India. The name of the company was changed from Zee Telefilms Ltd to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd with effect from January 10, 2007.
During the year 2007-08, pursuant to a scheme of amalgamation, ETC Networks Ltd, a listed subsidiary of the company, merged with Zee Interactive Learning Systems Ltd. The merged entity was subsequently renamed as ETC Networks Ltd. Asia Today Ltd., Mauritius, a wholly owned overseas subsidiary of the company acquired entire equity stake in APAC Media Ventures Ltd, a company registered in Hongkong, effective October 30, 2007, for the purpose of its broadcasting foray in the Asia Pacific Region.
During the year 2008-09, Asia Today Ltd., Mauritius, a wholly owned overseas subsidiary of the company, acquired the balance 40% equity stake in Asia Business Broadcasting (Mauritius) Ltd, a company registered in Mauritius and divested their entire 100% holding in Pan Asia Infrastructure Ltd, Mauritius. Additionally with a view to comply with the regulatory requirements for Russian Broadcasting Operations, Asia TV Ltd, UK, an overseas subsidiary created/ acquired an indirect subsidiary called 'OOO Zee CIS Holdings Ltd' in Russia.
During the year, the company ventured into the film production and distribution business, with launch of two labels, namely Zee Motion Pictures and Zee Limelight for mainstream and niche films, respectively. For that the purpose, they acquired/created direct/ indirect subsidiaries namely, ZES Holdings Ltd, Mauritius, Zee Entertainment Studios Ltd, British Virgin Islands, ZES Mauritius Ltd, Mauritius, ZES International Ltd, United Kingdom and Zee Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd., India.
During the year 2009-10, as per the scheme of arrangement, the company demerged the Regional General Entertainment Channel Business Undertaking (comprising of Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Talkies, Zee Telugu, Zee Cinemaalu and Zee Kannada television channels) of Zee News Ltd (ZNL) vesting with the company on the appointed date, January 1, 2010. The scheme became effective from March 29, 2010. Also, ETC Networks Ltd (ETC), a listed subsidiary of the company merged with the company with effect from appointed date, March 31, 2010. Upon such merger, the Education Business Undertaking of the company was demerged from the company and transferred to Zee Learn Ltd on the appointed date, April 1, 2010. Also, the 9X Channel Business Undertaking of INX Media Pvt Ltd (now known as 9X Media Private Ltd) was demerged and transferred to the company. During the year, ETC Networks Ltd (ETC), the listed subsidiary of the company acquired the entire shareholding in Cornershop Entertainment Company Pvte Ltd which in turn held 100% stake in Cornershop Animation Pvt Ltd, Digital Media Convergence Ltd and Re-Med Services Pvt Ltd. Subsequently, these subsidiaries amalgamated with ETC from the appointed date January 1, 2010 in pursuance of a scheme of amalgamation which became effective on April 29, 2010. Asia TV Ltd, United Kingdom, one of the overseas subsidiary along with its subsidiary OOO Zee CIS Holding Ltd, Russia jointly acquired 100% stake in OOO Zee CIS Ltd, a broadcasting operating company in Russia.
During the year 2010-11, the company dissolved ZES International Ltd, UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of ZES Entertainment Studios Ltd, BVI and Zee Sports Americas Ltd, Mauritius with effect from June 29, 2010 and June 9, 2011. Asia Business Broadcasting (Mauritius) Ltd, Mauritius was amalgamated with its holding company Asia Today Ltd, Mauritius. Also, Zee Entertainment Studios Ltd, BVI and ZES Mauritius Ltd, Mauritius amalgamated with their holding company ZES Holdings Ltd, Mauritius with effect from March 31, 2011 and March 18, 2011 respectively. Also, ZES Mauritius Ltd, Mauritius divested their entire stake in the Indian subsidiary, Zee Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd.
During the year, the joint ventures of the company in digital distribution viz. ITM Digital Pvt Ltd, and in India branded Entertainment Portal viz. India Webportal Pvt Ltd commenced their operations.
The company has in-principle approved the acquisition of the balance shareholding of 5% in Taj TV Ltd., Mauritius (Taj) by Zee Sports International Ltd, Mauritius (ZSIL), thus making Taj a wholly owned subsidiary of ZSIL and the amalgamation of ZSIL with their holding company Asia Today Ltd, Mauritius.