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Zee Entertainment embraces remote tech solutions to create content and entertain consumers amid lockdown

In broadcast, the network created fiction and non-fiction content. Zee5 launched 11 shows and five more are coming soon. In music, it created 120 songs and plans to add 1,000. Zee Live will present 12 weeks of original content

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) has optimally utilised technology solutions in order to create and offer fresh content for its consumers amid the lockdown. The teams have enabled innovations through remote production of content over mobile and professional cameras by using video and audio production technologies to support broadcast, digital and social platforms. 

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On the television front, it is ready with an array of new shows in multiple languages across its regions. To begin with, Zee is all set to bring together the entire music industry across 10 states with celebrities, music stalwarts, best of SRGMP singers and judges to deliver the ‘SRGMP 25year – Silver Jubilee Concert’ for a golden cause. This 25-hour live music marathon, ‘Ek Desh Ek Raag’ will raise funds for India ‘Covid Response Fund’ by GiveIndia.

As a first-of-its-kind TV + digital musical initiative, the show is all set for a 25-hour digital live-athon on May 23 and the Mega Finale TV Concert on May 24 on Zee TV and its other leading channels. The popular SRGMP title song is being rendered in 10 languages with the contribution of musical stalwarts like Pandit Jasraj, Ronu Majumdar, Selva Ganesh, Himesh Reshammiya, Shaan, Udit Narayan and more. 

The network will bring exciting new offerings across non-fiction with Zee Kannada launching ‘Lockdown Diaries’ and ‘Coffee with Anu’, where the former is a fun-filled game-chat show with its own artists. Zee Marathi is geared up to launch three non-fiction shows titled ‘Vedh Bhavishyacha’ - a spiritual chat show, ‘Gharchya Ghari Home Minister’ - a virtual format of the popular show ‘Home Minister’ and ‘Gharat Basle Saare’ - a first-of-its kind stand-up comedy puppet show by Ramdas Pandhye.

Zee Marathi is also set to offer four new fiction shows shot locally in Maharashtra under the new social distancing guidelines. Zee Sarthak has been airing ‘Lockdown Challenge’, a unique non-fiction show, showcasing lives of their leading celebrities during the lockdown. Zee Sarthak is ready with a two-hour original movie titled ‘Mu Tame Lockdown’, to be launched in June. Both pieces of content have been shot at the homes of the respective celebrities using mobile phones.

Zee Bangla has launched three shows, Priyo Tarakar Andarmanal, Abol Tabol – a comedy show and Lockdown Diaries, inspired by true human stories. Completely shot on mobile, Lockdown Stories is a tribute to the human spirit of fighting through short stories that aim to portray the human bonding, family strength and positivity this time has allowed us to re-establish. Airing for six days, the stories are inspired by real life and include frontline health workers, young couples, a kid trying to explore his imagination and middle-class inhabitants in a city landscape represented by artists such as Gaurav, Debolina, Arunodoy, Tanima Sen and more.

&TV spearheaded innovation through two special initiatives and brought alive the festive spirit with an interactive episode on Hanuman Jayanti, enabling viewers to sing along Hanuman Chalisa on TV. Ek Desh Ek Awaaz was a yet another special initiative undertaken on Ambedkar Jayanti. Also as a tribute to front-liners, &TV invited the viewers to pay tribute to all the Corona Warriors with a special show titled as ‘Corona Yodhaon Ko Salaam’. 

On the digital front, Zee5, the OTT platform, launched 11 new original shows / movies amid the lockdown and is ready to release five shows / movies by the end of May. Some of the key shows that are shot entirely in the safety of the actors’ homes are Bhalla Calling Bhalla, Never Kiss Your Best Friend (Lockdown Special), Kaalchakra and more. In addition to this, Ghoomketu (Movie) is all set to be released on May 22, Kaali 2 (Thriller) on May 29 and Kehene Ko Humsafar Hai 3 (Romantic Drama) and The Casino (Thriller) in the month of June. 

Zee’s Live Entertainment vertical embraced the digital platforms to entertain consumers amid the lockdown. Transforming its on-ground flagship IP – Supermoon, to Supermoon Live to Home, Zee Live offered a fresh dose of engaging content for its audience. Streaming Live on the OTT platform Zee5, Supermoon Live to Home offers the best of music and comedy across the nation and worldwide. Starting May 23, Zee Live is all set to present 12 weeks of original content with engaging acts of over 24 renowned artists and bands, including Bickram Ghosh, Palash Sen, Sahil Khattar, Varun Thakur, Mame Khan, Parkirama and more. 

Zee Music Company, the music vertical of the company, is geared up to add over 1,000 songs to its catalogue this year despite the lockdown phase. During the lockdown phase itself, the vertical has released over 120 songs. Zee Music entertains over 54.9 Mn subscribers on YouTube. The vertical is also focusing on creating Zee Music Originals, which are home-shot music videos by renowned artists. Music from albums like Shakuntala Devi and Gulabo Sitabo will also be offered to the consumers.

Punit Goenka, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zee, said, “Zee has always set new trends for the industry and I am very proud of our teams for making the optimal utilisation of technology solutions to ensure our consumers continue to get a fresh dosage of entertainment content amid the lockdown. We will continue to create fresh, rich and engaging content for our viewers by discovering new means and paths. It is time for the industry to define a new normal and ensure our consumers remain well-informed and entertained.” 

The company’s facility in Jaipur (Essel Vision) has emerged as a strong hub for post-production and edit support. Using state-of-the-art technology support, the edit and post-production of the films was completed by the editors within the safety of their homes. 

The company’s broadcast operations and engineering team developed remote clients through which systems could be operated remotely from home, which is a first-of-its-kind in the industry.

A work from home edit capability was implemented for key studio activities such as editing, graphics, audio and online applications by using proxy-based workflows with edit-over-cloud solutions.

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