Zee TV, one of the biggest Indian cable and satellite Television and media broadcasters, is setting up shop in Rwanda.
It plans, among other things, to produce a fusion of Afro-Indian story lines, where content from Rwanda and other African countries will be brought to their audience of 1.3 billion viewers globally.
The TV channel, which already prides itself in having 242 000+ hours of content, 3500 movie titles, 40 channels in India and 40 international channels viewed in 173 countries, can already be accessed locally on DStv, StarTimes, Kwese, Canal+, among other platforms.
“When you look at the continent of Africa, Rwanda is a very important country, it’s one of the fastest growing countries on the continent, one cannot afford to keep eyes off Rwanda, the way the country develops is impressive,” said Harish Goyal, the Chief Executive Officer of Zee TV South Africa.
He also noted that the cultural similarities between the Rwandan and Indian societies made it prudent for them to come and establish in Rwanda.
“When we did our research we found out that there is a lot of cultural resonance between Rwanda and India, there are similarities, Rwandan viewers love music, dance and colour, the same as Indian viewers” he noted.
It is going to be the first time Zee TV ventures into Africa for its content across the company’s distribution platforms and they are excited about the new opportunities emerging countries like Rwanda and others in the region will present to their global audience, he said.
Zee TV distributes content in Hindi, English, French, among other languages, and recently launched Kiswahili dubbed content that premiers on Zee World channel 166.
The channel has already lined up the cast for its maiden Afro-Indian TV soap opera, where most details, for instance, the story line, title, shoot location and airing dates have already been set, although Goyal said it’s early to reveal these details.
They already have up to 600 stars working with Zee TV in Africa and plan to expand the number of African stars.
“We are looking at producing integrated story lines, where we integrate Indian and African stars, there is already something we have been working on, we are now creating awareness, then we will create content in that direction” said Goyal.
Africa was the first international market that Zee TV forayed into, way back in 1996. It is now accessible across five continents. In addition, it is the only Indian Hindi General Entertainment category broadcaster that has a bespoke feed with English and French subtitles for Africa.
With an offering of 12 channels across Africa, the TV network plans to bring the best of Bollywood Entertainment to Africa.
“In East Africa, Rwanda is our priority, before we go elsewhere we wanted to come here” Goyal observed.