&TV – More than what wiki says about &TV

&TV is a Hindi General Entertainment Channel launched by the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) from & (ampersand) brand. The channel celebrates its 1st birthday on 2nd of March. It was a high octane launch supported with a strong content; it was received well by the Indian masses. In this post I will discuss about its 1st year in the Hindi GEC.

#andweare1 tweet on the hastag

&TV on all television networks

&TV was present with all DTH and cable operators from the day of launch.


Why & (ampersand) brand


The Indian masses wish to see change in TV on a regular basis. The old days are gone when a family was struck to one serial, one channel for years. Top media groups have launched various channels under the second GEC like Sony Pictures Network runs Sony SAB, Star Network runs Life OK which was launched successfully to give the masses a different content viewing by not disturbing their existing viewership in their flagship channels.


&TV was started on the same note, to give their viewers new content without disturbing their existing viewership base on their flagship channel.


Logo of the new channel by Zee group under the ‘&’ bouquet


A second GEC is needed as today’s generation gets bored quickly with the same content over the years. It may pose a difficulty to media houses to depend on one channel for their revenues. The second GEC may be a poor cousin to its flagship channel, but has can prove to be more popular than its flagship. A clear example is Sony SAB which is ranked higher and better than its flagship SET India in the GEC market. SET India lost ground after the run of KBC and Bade Ache Lagte Hai which was well covered by Sony SAB thereby making things even for its parent.


A successful second GEC is helpful to media houses as it gives them the advantage to strike a good deal with the ad agencies. Combined GRPs with a value added that it targets different sector of the society makes the deal attractive to the advertisers.


Difference of &TV from its flagship Zee TV


As I said earlier a second GEC must be different from its flagship, I have listed the differences below.


Zee TV was launched in 1992 becoming the first private Hindi GEC in India. & TV is the Hindi GEC from the & bouquet


&TV Zee TV
Audience Young Generation Traditional Viewers
TV Shows Gangaa (Young Widow), Razia Sultan (Only women emperor of India), etc… Pavitra Rishta, Kumkum Bhagya (Traditional saas bahu shows)
Reality Shows International Adapted shows (The Voice India, India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun) Home Grown shows (Dance India Dance, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Zee Cine Stars, etc….)




As I spoke in my about page, motivation is most important for the success of any venture.

&TV was motivated by

  • Colors: Launched as a flagship channel by Viacom 18 in 2008, it was well received by the masses for its differential programming and strong marketing strategy. It is competing with Star Plus for the number one slot in the Hindi GEC space (2016 January).
  • SAB TV: Repositioned by Sony Pictures Network in 2008 as a family comedy channel is riding on a huge success thanks to the likes of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah accompanied with various other shows.
  • Life OK: Rebranded Star One, it targets majorly the male audience with its shows like Savdhaan India, Comedy Classics, Shapath, etc….


SAB TV was a successful channel as a comedy channel and Colors was well positioned launch; it is making other GECs run for their money




Failure haunts everyone on this earth, so was in ZEEL group. There were various reasons for that

  • Imagine TV: Launched in 2008 just before Colors TV by NDTV was riding on a huge initial success due to good shows, but couldn’t keep the momentum for long and closed down due to bad ratings in 2012.
  • Real, 9X, Firangi: These channels failed despite having good backing within months of its launch due to poor content.
  • Sony Pal: Launched in 2014 by Sony Pictures Network as a woman centric channel, the management decided to stop further loss and the channel now runs old shows from SET India and Sony SAB in February 2015.


ZEEL group itself has bitten a bite of failure in Hindi GEC

  • El TV: It was launched in 1994 to act as a second channel to its flagship ZEE TV, but couldn’t replicate the success of ZEE TV. They resorted to various methods like running sponsored programs (Producers pay the channel for using the time slot), re-branding the channel into Zee India TV in 1998 after which the management decided to convert it into a Hindi 24X7 news channel in 1999.
  • Zee Next: Launched in the year 2007 as second Hindi GEC, it failed to grab eyeballs thereby closing its operations within a year of its launch.


The bright spot was Zindagi channel for ZEEL group which telecasted old high quality shows across borders in India, proved to be good success for the group as it has created a niche for itself. &TV was positioned as a channel for all unlike Zindagi.


Strong fiction line up


The crowded GEC has over 15 channels today. Differential content is a must for a channel to succeed accompanied by strong advertising. The channel received “Presented By”, “Powered By” sponsors for all its shows.

  • Razia Sultan
  • The lone women emperor of India who rose to the position by her merits.
  • Produced by Swastik Production which has produced some successful shows like Mahabharata (2013), Suryaputra Karn, etc….
  • Key: Industry had witnessed some successful historical and mythological serials in 2014 like Bhaarat ka Veer Putra Maharana Pratap, Jodhaa Akbar, Mahabharata, etc….
  • Branding: Acts in high football centric areas in various cities.
  • Sponsors — Presenting: – Venus; Powered By: – Clean and Dry and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)


  • Bhagyalakshmi
  • The story of an ambitious girl who has to balance her professional and personal life.
  • Produced by Rashmi Sharma Telefilms which has produced the successful show Sasural Simar Ka.
  • It got a revamp in January 2016 as Saubhagyalakshmi.
  • Sponsors — Presenting:- Kinder Joy; Powered By:- Ching’s Secret and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)


These shows kept the audience glued to the channel

Shows like Gangaa, IPSSK, Razia Sultan, Begusarai were launched which grabbed a good viewership


  • Gangaa
  • The story of a child widow who has an indomitable spirit to survive. (My favorite TV serial).
  • Produced by Sphere Origins of the Balika Vadhu fame.
  • Key: It was launched keeping in mind the success Colors got due to Balika Vadhu as it concerned a social issue which is liked and supported by the masses.
  • Sponsors — Presenting: – Vicco; Powered By: – Libero and Ghadi


  • India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun
  • An Adaptation of ‘Who’s Asking’, an Israeli show in which the contestant and the question asker is a common man.
  • The King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan was the host of the show.
  • Produced by Siddhartha Basu, who has produced India’s most successful reality show Kaun Banega Crorepati.
  • Key: Expected to replicate success of KBC (For Star and Sony) and Fear Factor (Colors) as an audience puller.
  • Sponsors — Presenting: – Rin; Powered By: – Pan Vilas and DHFL


  • Begusarai
  • Set in rural Bihar where there is more value for money, land and fame than human life.
  • Produced by Swastik Production which has produced some successful shows like Mahabharata (2013), Suryaputra Karn, etc….
  • Branding: Some acts were set on jeeps and bikes around target areas.
  • Sponsors — Presenting:- Pan Bahar; Powered By:- Quick Heal and Ghadi


  • Bhabi Jii Ghar Par Hain
  • A male skewed comedy, in which the males of the couples try to impress other’s wives.
  • Produced by Edit II productions.
  • Branding: At paanwalla shows, chai ki tapir, salons, etc….


  • Killer Karaoke – Atka Toh Latka
  • Adapted from America game show “Killer Karaoke”, a singing show in which contestant performs in front of a live audience. But the twist is that his performance is disrupted by various means.
  • Hosted by Krushna Abhishek, a comedian by profession.
  • Sponsors — Presenting: – Ching’s Secret; Powered By:- Nufeel spray.


  • Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi
  • A show which addresses problems people face which would be constructively discussed. Hosted by Ashish Sharma of Rangrasiya fame.
  • Produced by Fermantle Media which had produced shows like Indian Idol, Masterchef, etc….
  • Sponsors —- Powered by: – Ching’s Secret


A big win


When the ratings were out, the entire industry was shocked. It clocked 90,612 GVTs according to TAM ratings in just five and a half days of the telecast. It overshadowed the success of Colors which has clocked 81,000 GVTs in 2008.


Gangaa and India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun (IPSSK) became the top rated shows on the channel as expected due to its mass appeal.


The weekend shows Killer Karaoke and Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi also performed well in their respective slots.


Strong Foundation drove them to success

  • Research by ZEEL group was done perfectly.
  • Partnering with all cable operators and DTH players such that the viewers can watch &TV from day 1. Some cable operators gave them a better position in the channel menu list than old GECs (Star Plus and Zee TV).
  • The shows were uploaded to its web portal (Ditto TV) from day one of the telecast. The viewers could watch &TV shows as an alternative on Ditto TV anytime.
  • Outdoor Media was used extensively like banners, posters, etc….
  • Social Media was used to tap today’s youth.
  • ZEE Network channels continuously telecasted promos of &TV and its programming.
  • Partnered with many advertisers for Presented by, Powered by sponsors for its shows unlike other GECs which partnered their channels with the companies during their launch.





Producers, advertisers and the entire industry had faith &TV would succeed. They took it an opportunity to invest in &TV because, the parent company ZEEL group has a clean and a good track record in the industry. Any individual/company (even me) would love to be a part of the ZEEL family which believes in the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. I would love to be a part of the ZEEL group in future (Thanks to my inspiration Subhash Chandra).


Advertisers were on board thanks to ZEEL group's clean image in the Industry.

Many brands had been a part during the launch of &TV as presenting and powered by sponsors


Shows that became a part of their journey


As I said earlier, it is easy to gather initial momentum for any venture, but keeping the momentum going is a big task. &TV has worked well to keep the momentum going.


Shows like

  • The Voice India
  • The singing reality show, which judges a contestant on the basis of merit and nothing else
  • Produced by Endemol India, which has produced shows like Fear Factor and Bigg Boss.


  • Deal Ya No Deal
  • The fourth season was telecasted on &TV hosted by Ronit Roy
  • Produced by Endemol India, which has produced shows like Fear Factor and Bigg Boss.


Most of them are foreign adapted shows

Shows like Deal or No Deal, The Voice, Killer Karaoke, etc…


  • Darr Sabko Lagta Hai
  • Hosted by Bipasha Basu, it narrates horror stories in the supernatural world.
  • Produced by Reel Life Entertainment.


  • Agent Raghav
  • A crime fiction show of a CBI team based in Delhi. Sharad Kelkar is the main lead of the show
  • Produced by Contiloe Entertainment of the Maharana Pratap fame.



ZEEL has to think a good strategy ahead to keep the momentum. After completion of one year in the GEC market, it has made a special place for itself.


Major challenges that could pose would be high investment costs on its various shows which are successful abroad. Unlike its flagship (relies on home grown reality shows), it has to rely on new reality shows in order to maintain and keep on adding viewership to its network. The channel may need to invest in award function properties to attract all viewers across all GECs, as award functions have a mass appeal. (All TV stars at one platform, all film stars performing on their favorite songs; this is liked by the masses today. A fan base of a star will surely watch the show to watch his star’s performance).


As new reality shows attract new viewers so does famed personalities (Actors, dancers, singers) which deals with a lot of cost, the channel has to keep patience to breakeven its costs for marching towards profits from its new channel.


Adapted from the American show of the same name

The new show on &TV expected to go on floors by May end


New fiction shows must replace the old ones as this channel is positioned for the youth who doesn’t believe in sticking to one show for many years. They expect different shows than the other channels offer.


The newest reality show that &TV would be offering is
“So Now You Can Dance” which is expected to telecast its first episode by May end 2016. Produced by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, it will try to replicate the success of The Voice India, show telecasted by &TV in 2015.


I wish &TV and its team (ZEEL group headed by Punit Goenka and Subhash Chandra) the very best to make this channel a success and make a place for itself in GEC 2 (Sony SAB, Life OK)and if everything goes in favour of the management may compete with GEC 1 channels(Star Plus, Zee TV, Colors).


Please don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter if you liked this post (I won’t trouble you much). Download my new eBook titled “25 Years of privatization in Indian Television Industry” by clicking on the link in my blog. It speaks about the entry of transnational and domestic players in the broadcasting space ending the monopoly of the government-run DoorDarshan since 1991.

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