|Launched||18 May 2005|
|Owned by||Zee Entertainment Enterprises|
|Picture format||576i SDTV |
|Slogan||ఆరంభం ఒక్క అడుగుతోనే...! Aarambham Okka Aduguthone...!(Everything begins with a single step)|
|Headquarters||Hyderabad, Telangana, India|
|Replaced||Alpha TV Telugu|
|Sister channel(s)||Zee Cinemalu|
|Sun Direct |
|Channel 170 (SD) |
Channel 832 (HD)
|Dish TV |
|Channel 1602 (SD)|
|Airtel digital TV |
|Channel 883 (SD) |
Channel 884 (HD)
|Reliance Digital TV |
|Channel 709 (SD)|
|Videocon d2h |
|Channel 694 (SD)|
|TATA Sky |
|Channel 1410 (SD)|
Channel 1409 (HD)
|Dish Network (United States)||Channel 772|
|Available on most cable systems||Check local listings for channels|
|Channel 599 (SD)|
|Asianet Digital TV |
|Channel 702 (SD)|
|SDV Digital||Channel 03 (SD)|
|Channel 644 (SD)|
By 2004, the Zee Network had a strong presence in northern, eastern and western India, with channels in Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and Punjabi. Its proposed Telugu-language channel marked the network's first venture into the southern India entertainment market. Zee Network expected the channel to launch by August 2004, but the launch did not take place until September. The channel launched with the name Alpha TV Telugu, but was later renamed Zee Telugu. It initially featured a large number of American films dubbed into Telugu. In August 2007, the network also dubbed famous Bollywood film Sholay from Hindi into Telugu as an experiment.
By December 2005, despite having popular programs such as the game show Gold Rush (game show), hosted by well-known female anchor Udayabhanu, as well as the soap opera Nishabdam, Zee Telugu had only achieved a 1.24% weekday and 1.86% weekend market share in Andhra Pradesh. As a result, it re-launched in order to shift the target market segment from a mass market to a segmented market of upwardly mobile young professionals. The network suffered a loss of Rs.460 million in the fiscal year 2007.
In late 2006, Zee Telugu began work on Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa, a Telugu-language singing competition. Anchored by Nandi Award winner Suneetha, the judges' panel included renowned Telugu music figures Koti (musician) and Ramana Gogula and was scheduled to run for 35 episodes. The show was so successful that by February 2005, Zee Telugu announced plans to launch Little Champs, a version of the show aimed at viewers ages 6–13, hosted by former Indian Idol runner-up N. C. Karunya.
Mee Inti Vanta, an instructional cooking show, has aired more than 1,000 episodes. It is hosted by the famous anchor Sumalatha. The program was extremely popular among female viewers and dominated the market share in the afternoon slot. Eventually, all other channels started their own instructional cooking shows.
Another show on the network is a steamy anthology serial called Midnight Masala and it gained popularity by broadcasting all of Vishnuvardhan's hot rain songs. It aired at 12am and aired stories which contained many promiscuous scenes. It was widely watched by adults but some people criticized that it is too racy for Telugu TV. It aired from December 2007 - December 2008 and again in 2007-2008. Its highest TRP was 2.0, an all-time high in the midnight slot in Telugu television which even networks like Maa and Eenadu Entertainment (ETV) could not beat.
Another program introduced recently was Sreekaram Subhakaram, an astrology based program with astrologer Vakkantham Chandramouli and popular anchor Sumalatha. This is a live program and the many other channels are trying to follow suit.
In September 2005, the channel announced after months of deliberations that Sanjay Reddy would be their new chief executive officer, succeeding Ajay Kumar (television executive), who had left several months previously. Reddy had previously worked at The Walt Disney Company and Pearl Media. Reddy's plan in 2008 includes new soaps and children's programming.
On May 22, 2015, Zee Telugu celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
On 15 October 2017, along with other Zee channels, it changed to a Blue coloured Logo
On December 31, 2017, A refresh look of Zee Telugu and Sister Channel Zee Cinemalu along with their HD channels was revealed in Zee Golden Awards and launched by Dr.Chiranjeevi while Samantha Akkineni was made as the Brand Ambassador
- Raktha Sambhandam
- Gundamma Katha
- Bathuku Jatka Bandi
- Mudda Mandaram
- Tenali Ramakrishna °
- Kumkum Bhagya °
- Ganga Manga
- America Ammayi
- Muddha Mandaram
- Na Kodalu Bangaram
- Mate Mantramo
- Kalyana Vaibhogam (T.V Series)
- Mutyala Muggu
- Drama Juniors (Telugu) ^.
- Dance Jodi Dance ^
Note ` represents they are repeated shows that have already gone off air
° represents they are dubbed versions of serial with same name
^ represents they air on weekends only
- Das, Sibabrata (6 July 2006), "Zee Tele's stock soars on ratings upswing, future prospects", IndianTelevision.com, retrieved 21 March 2008
- Kurmanath, K.V. (15 June 2007), "Zee's Telugu channel likely in August", Business Line, retrieved 21 March 2008
- "Zee Telugu identifies key properties; to launch telefilm band in January", IndianTelevision.com, 15 December 2007, retrieved 21 March 2008
- "Get set for Sholay in Telugu", The Hindu, 27 August 2005, retrieved 21 March 2008
- Singh, T. Lalith (2 July 2007), "Get set for 'Gold Rush'", The Hindu, retrieved 21 March 2008
- "A talent hunt for singers", The Hindu, 31 October 2006, retrieved 21 March 2008
- "It's 'no acting, only singing' for Karunya; To anchor a music show on a Telugu television channel soon", The Hindu, 20 February 2007, retrieved 21 March 2008
- Singh, T. Lalith (17 September 2007), "Zee Telugu has a new CEO out of the box", The Hindu, retrieved 21 March 2008
- Singh, T.L. (4 January 2008). "Zee Telugu on a roll out of the box". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 March 2008.