ZEE5 World’s Authentic Slate Selecting Up Tempo In U.S. – Deadline

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EXCLUSIVE: ZEE5 Global’s slate of original series and films are beginning to pay dividends for the South Asian content streamer in the U.S.

We recently reported the service had seen Stateside viewing rise 35% year-on-year and new stats released today show the amount of time original content is being viewed is up by an even higher amount, 46% over the last year. Those watching original movies and series was up 40%.

Of course, like all streamers ZEE5 Global doesn’t release specific viewing metrics or subscriber numbers globally. This makes contextualizing the growth harder but it is believed the total is well into the eight-figure mark.

Hindi-language content drove the most viewing, with Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai and Maya Bazaar – For Sale the most-watch movie and series in the last year, respectively. Closely following them are titles such as Tarla, Pitchers and The Kashmir Files: Unreported among others.

ZEE5 Global said its Bangla originals had also begun to drive U.S. viewing this year. Recently released thriller drama Abar Proloy was the most-watched Bengali original in 2023 and has seen a surprising 25% jump in consumption after its first week of release, which is usually the strongest.

We’re constantly looking to bring our viewers stories that highlight the best of South Asia, stories that not only entertain but also spark meaningful conversations and drive positive change,” said Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer at ZEE5 Global. “From docu-series and biopics to thrillers and titles with strong social and cultural messages, we have been innovating to enhance our Original content library with newer formats and themes across languages. We’re thrilled to see how well this content is resonating across the linguistically diverse diaspora in the U.S.”

ZEE5’s parent company, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, was given the go ahead to merge with Sony’s TV business in India earlier this month. The $10B deal will see the company’s merge their Indian activities to create a giant business comprising linear TV networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. Sony will provide a large cash injection and control a majority share stake of close to 51%.

The merger had hit several regulatory roadblocks and looked to be on the rocks when the Securities and Exchange Board of India banned Zee bosses Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka from the boardrooms of listed companies for a year, but the deal was then greenlit.

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