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India’s Zee Launches Premium VOD Service Zee Plex, as Cinemas Remain Closed

Indian media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises has announced a premium VOD service Zee Plex. The platform makes it likely that more top film titles will bypass cinemas and release directly online, at a time when Indian cinemas remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Zee5 platform was one of the first to announce a direct-to-OTT title with “Ghoomketu,” starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui (“Sacred Games”). In recent months, there has been a spate of Indian titles bowing directly on streamers including Disney Plus Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

“While we all love to catch the latest movies at the nearest theaters, we sensed the need for a solution like this, which gives the consumer flexibility and convenience, to catch their favorite films in the comfort of their homes, along with friends and family,” said Zee Studios CEO Shariq Patel. “We have received great interest from producers and are looking forward to release a strong slate of blockbusters across languages.”

Zee Plex will be available on global platforms, and on Zee5 globally from Oct. 2.

Vibha Chopra, head of global syndication and international film distribution, Zee, said, “We are very excited to partner with key content distribution platforms including DTH, cable and telecom players globally and bring the latest Indian language movies, direct to consumers in the comfort of their homes.”

The films will be available at “an attractive (per film) price point,” Zee said. The price has not yet been revealed.

The Zee group operates 86 channels across 173 countries. Due to declining advertising revenues during the pandemic, the group’s net profit declined 94% year-on-year for the April-June quarter, to $4 million.

via Variety

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