Zee TV is an Indian Hindi language general entertainment pay television channel owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. It was launched on 1 October 1992, as the oldest privately owned Television channel in India.[1][2] The defunct and unsuccessful Asia Television Network started earlier.[3]

Broadcast areaWorldwide
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceZee TV HD +1
OwnerZee Entertainment Enterprises
ParentZee Entertainment
Sister channelsSee list of channels owned by ZEEL
Launched1 October 1992; 31 years ago, (India)
1993 (France)
1995 (UK)
1998 (USA)
Availability - Available on all major Indian DTH & Cables.
DVB-T2 (India)Check local frequencies
Streaming media


A variation of Zee TV logo used from 2014 to 2016

In 1991, Li Ka-shing started his STAR satellite television network. At the end of the year, Subhash Chandra of the Essel Group finished a round of negotiations with HutchVision, after a series of rejections, and the condition that Chandra would pay US$5 million a year for the satellite transponder. Li signed the deal in India a few months later and approached interested companies, but nobody was interested in paying the transponder fees. Chandra was the last possible man to sign the contract, by gathering money from his non-resident Indian friends and in the creation of a holding company for the channel, Asia Today.[4]

Zee TV was launched on 2 October 1992,[5] as the flagship channel of the Zee Telefilms Ltd.[6] The channel initially broadcast three hours a day, its output consisting of movies and reruns of Doordarshan serials. The channel's initial manager was a Doordarshan news reporter who was on leave from his employer.[7] Three months later, the airtime had doubled to six hours.[4]

Within less than a month after its launch, Zee TV was criticised for airing mainly old Hindi films and serials that were previously broadcast on state TV network Doordarshan. A cynic reviewed the network giving "A for effort" and "Z(ee) for quality".[8] Others within the network called it an "upbeat clone of Doordarshan". To offset such negative criticism, Zee TV began producing more original content.[7] The channel opted to create its own pool of producers instead of using Doordarshan staff.[4]

Zee TV rejected a 1993 bid to broadcast Sun TV during the afternoons, forcing Sun TV to negotiate with competitor ATN instead.[3]

It began full-day broadcasts in 1993.[4] After Rupert Murdoch's buyout of Star TV, Zee TV faced some uncertainties about its future, nonetheless, Zee TV had gained rural audiences by November 1993. On 22 December 1993, Murdoch was planning to buy a 49.9% equity stake in the channel's owner, Hong Kong-based, British Virgin Islands-registered Asia Today.[9] By year-end 1995, Zee TV already had three channels, the other two being Zee Cinema, a Bollywood channel, and EL TV, which broadcast in English and regional languages. Numerous competitors had also emerged around this time.[7] 11 million households were receiving the channel.[4]

Zee TV lost its leadership to Star Plus, which took over its role after Murdoch sold his stake in Asia Today.[4]

On 10 January 2007, Zee Telefilms Ltd was renamed into the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL.).[citation needed]

In 2013, Zee TV, along with its sister channels, underwent a branding overhaul.[10]

On 15 October 2017, coinciding Zee's twenty-five year silver jubilee, all of its channels were rebranded.[citation needed]

On 30 May 2021, Zee TV planned to revamp its look and air four new television series, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the idea was postponed and thereafter scrapped.[11]

Associated channels


Zee Anmol


Zee Anmol is a Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) that shows reruns of Zee TV shows. It was launched in 2013 as a free-to-air channel, similar to Star Utsav, Sony Pal and Colors Rishtey. However, in 2019, it stopped being free-to-air.

Zee Zindagi


Zee Zindagi is an Indian General Entertainment Television channel owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, that airs Pakistani TV shows (and previously also Turkish and Korean shows dubbed into Hindi). Originally launched as a satellite channel on 23 June 2014, it closed down on 30 June 2017, when its content was moved to Ozee (now ZEE5). On 23 May 2022, Zee Zindagi was relaunched on Indian DTH platforms as a service channel airing predominantly Pakistani content. It continues to be available on ZEE5.



Zing is a youth entertainment channel in India owned by the Zee Entertainment, similar to MTV, Bindass and the erstwhile Channel V. It was launched in 1997 as Music Asia, then rebranded to Zee Muzic in 2000, and adopted its current name in 2009. Besides youth programming, it also shows music shows, like its sister channel Zee ETC Bollywood, which shut down on 17 October 2020.



The channel mostly airs content intended for family and coming-of-age audiences ranging from comedy to drama.[12] It also aired reality shows such as En Vidya Nokki,[13] Sa Re Ga Ma Pa,[14] I Can Do That,[15] India's Best Cinestars Ki Khoj,[16] and Dance India Dance.[17]

Zee Rishtey Awards


Since 2007, the channel has presented an annual award show, the Zee Rishtey Awards, to performers on its show based on popularity.[18] Nominations for the awards are declared by the channel. The winners are selected through voting done via online and through SMS.[19][20][21]

International versions




The European version of Zee TV traces its origins to TV Asia, which was set up by non-resident Indian and Pakistani immigrants in the United Kingdom and started broadcasting in July 1992. It was the first channel in Europe targeting Indian, Pakistani and Bandlageshi immigrants. By 1994, the channel was facing financial difficulties, forcing Zee TV to take over the channel in March 1995. The channel also had local community programming as well as content targeting viewers of different religions (Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam).[22]

The network produced special programmes for the 1997 United Kingdom general election, the first with candidates of South Asian origin.[23]

See also



  1. ^ "Zee TV, India's first private channel, completes 25 years". DNA India. 2 October 2017. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Today In History: Dr Subhash Chandra launched India's first private satellite channel 'Zee TV' in 1992". Zee News. 2 October 2021. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Kalanithi Maran, Sun TV: the evolution". Indian Television. 24 April 2018. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bansal, Shuchi; Sheikh, Aminah (29 September 2012). "There and back again: Subhash Chandra and the Zee TV story". Livemint. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Zee Entertainment Enterprises History". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 25 July 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  6. ^ Singh, Suhani (21 August 2017). "Entertainment Inc.: The story of Zee, one of India's first Hindi satelite [sic] channels". India Today. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "The Zee TV story turns 20". Mint. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  8. ^ "Zee TV gets Z for quality". The Straits Times. 27 October 1992. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  9. ^ "Murdoch's Star TV set to buy stake in owner of Indian station". The Business Times. 23 December 1993. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  10. ^ "Zee channels to sport new logos". Business Standard. 28 March 2005. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  11. ^ "ZEE TV to go under revamp on 30th May; 6 new shows to be launched". 29 April 2021. Archived from the original on 29 June 2021. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  12. ^ "17 New serials are to be launched". IT Team. indianrelevision.com. 9 March 2001. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  13. ^ Sapna, Nair (14 June 2006). "Action and adventure to rule Zee's prime slot". afaqs news bureau. afaqs. Archived from the original on 17 October 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  14. ^ Prachi, Shrivastava (18 December 2014). "Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5". afaqs news bureau. afaqs. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  15. ^ "After Oye! It's Friday, Farhan Akhtar is returning to TV". Hindustan Times. 27 August 2015. Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Zee launches star hunt 'India's Best Cinestars Ki Khoj'". Indiantelevision.com. 21 April 2004. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  17. ^ "DID Little Masters tops the flock; Zee slips back to No. 3". afaqs news bureau. afaqs. 4 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  18. ^ Correspondent, After Hrs (15 March 2010). "'Zee TV' ratings soar this week". DNA India. Archived from the original on 15 June 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Zee Rishtey Awards celebrate 20 years of channel – Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 June 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  20. ^ Srivastava, Priyanka (1 December 2014). "TV stars shine at Zee Rishtey Awards in Mumbai". India Today. Archived from the original on 15 June 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  21. ^ Aamir, S. m (29 November 2013). "Celebrating relationships". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020 – via www.thehindu.com.
  22. ^ Dudrah, Rajinder; Gopal, Sangita; Rai, Amit; Basu, Anustup (2013). InterMedia in South Asia: The Fourth Screen. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-75948-3. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  23. ^ "British parties using TV to woo Asian voters". The Straits Times. 13 April 1997. Retrieved 10 February 2024.