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Launch: Zee Telugu
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18th May 2005
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Zee Network made a foray into the South Indian marker with the launch of Zee Telugu. At a ceremony at Taj Krishna, the new channel was launched by megastar Chiranjeevi. The launch ceremony has around 300 invitees with prominent personalities from the TV and film industry present.

Speaking at the launch, Ajay Kumar, Business Head, Zee South, said "Zee Network has been considering a venture into the South after successfully running regional channels like Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Gujarathi. Andhra Pradesh is the best potential market for our first venture into the South. We are quite confident that Zee Telugu will live upto the expectations of our viewers in Andhra Pradesh and provide the best in entertainment. Telugu viewers segment occupies the 13% of the total Indian viewers. Though there are 11 channels in Telugu so far, we are here to plug in the gap that is there in TV market and make a niche for ourselves. Zee Network has a global reach over 130 countries and Zee Telugu too would reach the Telugu households in all these 130 countries. Incidentally Zee Network owns around 26 TV channels out of 110 TV channels originating from India. The ground distribution network done by Zee partner Siti Cable would be of greater help in reaching people through Zee Telugu."

Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Zee Network said "When Ajay Kumar informed me that Chiranjeevi has agreed to inaugurate Zee Telugu, I was delighted. Ajay asked me if he could invite CM and Governor of Andhra Pradesh as well. I told Ajay that the presence of Chiranjeevi is equivalent to the presence of 10 such personalities like CM and Governor. When public has any problems regarding governance, we can approach government authorities and get the work accomplished for the public."

Subhash Chandra also jocularly mentioned the incident that happened few years back when he met Azhar in Delhi. Azhar referred him as uncle and Subhash Chandra took exception about it and asked Azhar not to call him uncle.

Recollecting how Zee Network progressed, Subhash Chandra said, "We started Zee TV with 2 hour programming per day in 1992. Lots of people discouraged us venturing into television media as they felt that private channels cannot afford the cost it incurs. Zee TV took the bold step of private TV channel in India and now around 150 private TV channels are broadcasting programs from India. 2 months after starting Zee TV, a young lad called Rama Krishna met me and explained about his cable network in Vijaywada. I was impressed with him as he was able to manufacture content by staying in Vijaywada. I took his help and collaborated in incorporating Siti Cable. That Siti Cable operates in 41 major cities in India today. I miss my beloved friend Rama Krishna the most."

Chiranjeevi said, "Subhash Chandra who used to do exports prior to 1992 was inspired by the TV media when he watched shows on a few private TV channels in abroad. He dreamt of Indian private TV channel and incorporated Zee TV. He is the father of Indian private TV media today. Lots of producers are under illusion that TV channels are detrimental to film industry TV prevents people to venture out to the theaters. It is a misconception as people watch films as long as they are well made. Likewise, they watch TV channels only if the programs are good. In my opinion, TV and Cinema are like two eyes of entertainment. TV and Cinema complement each other. TV plays a bigger role in promoting films. I am extending all my support to Zee Telugu on this eve."

Subhash Chandra presented Chiranjeevi with a bronze casting of Ardhanareeswara made in Chola style. Film actress Veda anchored the event. Chief Guest Chiranjeevi flagged off mobile vans headed to 39 towns for a road show to be held by three Telugu film actresses - Gajala, Nikita and Rekha. The entire ceremony was telecast live on Zee Telugu.

Rhythm Mediaworks organized this event successfully.

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