A month after a placeholder popped up on the channel list, Zee Entertainment has launched a portal of streaming channels via Freeview.
- Viewers with a compatible and connected Freeview device can now stream Zee World, Zest, Zing and Zee Punjabi on channel 278.
- Zee World is Zee’s English language channel, with a number of its popular shows dubbed into English.
- The launch is the latest in a busy year of expansion for Freeview’s streaming service, bringing an array of international and niche channels to viewers for the first time.
Zee has worked with Global Distribution Services and Synapse TV to launch its new Zee World streaming portal on Freeview channel 278.
Four channels are available through the portal, offering what Zee calls “an array of content, ranging from lifestyle and entertainment to drama and regional programming”.
- Zest focuses on lifestyle and food shows.
- Zing is a destination for Bollywood, music and youth culture
- Zee World provides drama series and telenovelas (soaps) dubbed into English. The channel first made its debut in Africa, and it’s the first time it’s been made available in the UK.
- Zee Punjabi caters to the Punjabi-speaking community
The service to free-to-stream. All current Freeview Play devices connected to the internet are compatible with the service. Some older Freeview HD devices may also be able to connect. User of non-compatible or non-connected devices will see an advisory text on selecting the Zee World Freeview channel.
Zee World first popped up on Freeview channel 278 during the third week in August with a “coming soon” message.
Rapid expansion of streaming channels on Freeview
The Dubai-based Global Distribution Services is behind this and other recent additions to Freeview’s streaming service. It’s already help launch HD streaming versions of Al Jazeera English and Arabic to the platform, plus new services on Channelbox (channel 271) as well as WION. Last year it also added Japan’s NHK World to Channelbox, a channel which has now gained its own standalone Freeview listing, on channel 287.
Meanwhile, London-based Synapse serves as its technology provider. It’s been providing streaming services on Freeview for over a decade, but it’s only in recent years that the offer has expanded. Synapse is renowned for pioneering a unique FAST Server-Side Ad-Insertion system and Content Delivery Network (CDN), designed specifically for targeting Free-to-Air (FTA), Connected TV (CTV), and mobile platforms.
As a result of the expansion, over 100 extra channels are now available to Freeview viewers with compatible connected devices.
Commenting on the launch, Tanya Kronfli, managing director of Global Distribution Services said:
“We are thrilled about the partnership with Zee Entertainment. The FAST revolution is changing the broadcast industry and we are excited to be leading this trend and deliver the best of Bollywood content to the UK Freeview audience”