Z Living to Shut Down Linear Channel in January

Health and entertainment lifestyle channel Z Living will shut down its linear channel in the U.S. on Jan. 31 to focus mainly on digital offerings, a spokesperson for the network told Multichannel News.

Z Living is owned by Mumbai, India-based media conglomerate Zee Entertainment. Rajeev Kheror, who was named president of Z Living in December, will remain in that role.

The decision to cease its linear operations comes as many networks are facing challenges from over-the-top and online distributors. Z Living wouldn’t say just what form its digital offering would take — whether it would be a subscription video on demand service, direct-to-consumer or something else.

Related: Z Living Acquires 'The Doctors'

Z Living spokesperson Leslie Oren said the channel is “transitioning to a fully digital offering. They will keep serving and engaging with the audience, and will continue to produce original content, but via a digital model." She added more details will be available in the next couple of weeks.

“Z Living has a very loyal, very smart and digitally savvy audience,” Oren said. “Moving to digital, from the company’s point of view, is a really good solution to continue to engage with that audience and to grow that audience. It’s not a surprise to anyone that we’re in a major moment of change and disruption in media. And when you’re dealing with what is essentially a powerful though niche audience, a linear cable model simply is not sustainable.”

Z Living has offices in New York and Los Angeles and both locations will remain open. The network does not disclose its number of employees although it is possible that some people would separate from the company once it makes the transition to becoming a digital network.

Z Living had tried to carve a niche in the crowded health and lifestyle space, and started to make some headway a couple of years ago, adding carriage with several larger distributors, and attracting interest in some of its shows like Finding Fido and Yoga Girls and forging strategic partnerships with digital outlets Popsugar and SheKnows. Also last year, the network bought syndication rights to The Dr. Oz Show.

The channel is currently available on AT&T U-verse, Dish Network, Verizon Fios, Frontier Communications, Hargray Communications, Cincinnati Bell, RCN, GCI and Buckeye, as well as on Amazon Fire TV and Roku.