Zee News Ltd is one of India's leading media and entertainment companies with strong presence in the news and regional entertainment genres. The company is the part of Essel group. The company is engaged mainly in the business of broadcasting of news, current affairs and regional entertainment satellite television channels uplinked from India. The company has one subsidiary, namely Zee Akaash News Pvt Ltd.
The channels operated by Zee News Ltd are Zee News, Zee Business, Zee 24 Taas, Zee Punjabi, Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Gujarati, Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada. In addition, Zee Akaash News Private Ltd, a company in which the company has a 60% stake, operates 24 Ghanta, a 24X7 Bengali news channel. The company's news gathering capabilities are significantly enhanced by their KU Band network and strong relationships with international news agencies.
The company is having an arrangement with Zee Turner Ltd to distribute their pay channels bouquet in India and neighboring countries. Zee Turner was also assigned to distribute the company's bouquet of pay channels on DTH platforms as well. The company also has an arrangement with Dish TV India Ltd for up-linking of their channels through their teleport. Dish TV is having a license for up-linking of TV channels from the competent Government authority.
Zee News Ltd was incorporated in August 27, 1999 as Zee Sports Ltd. During the year, the company created history by becoming the 24-hour Hindi current affairs and news channel in the country. In November 2004, the company launched The Zee Business channel. The name of the company was changed to Zee News Ltd on May 27, 2004 after obtaining a fresh Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies, Mumbai.
In March 31, 2006, the news business undertaking of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd consisting of news and regional language channels, namely Zee News, Zee Business, Zee Bangla, Zee Punjabi, Zee Marathi, Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada was demerged and vested to Zee News Ltd. As per the Scheme of Arrangement, the company allotted 45.21 equity shares of Re 1/- each fully paid-up for every 100 equity shares of Re 1/- each held in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
During the year 2006-07, the company acquired 5,70,000 equity shares of Rs 10/- each of in their subsidiary company Zee Akaash News Pvt Ltd at a price of Rs 114/- per share. The company launched Zee Kannada, which established itself steadily in Karnataka. In January 2007, the company got listed at Bomaby Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange and Calcutta Stock Exchange. In February 2007, the company launched India's first Marathi news channel, Zee 24 Taas.
During the year 2007-08, the company launched their first franchise channel in Chattisgarh by the name of Zee 24 Ghante Chattisgarh. In August 2008, the company launched Marathi movie channel namely Zee Talkies and in October 2008, they launched entertainment channel in Tamil called Zee Tamil. The company entered into strategic partnership with Sky B (Bangla) Pvt Ltd, a company which owns 'Akash Bangla', a 24 hours regional infotainment channel in Bengali and acquired 26% stake in that company.
In line with the vision of a PAN India presence, the company is in the process of launching a 24X7 Telugu News channel during the financial year 2008-09. The company is also having a concrete plan to launch a Global English News channel by 2009-10. The company is in the process of entering consultancy business for offering News Consultancy Services in order to diversify and de-risk the business and to lower the dependency on advertisement as the main source of revenue.