Zee forays into radio, acquires UAE-based FM station
New Delhi: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), which operates entertainment channels like Zee TV and Zee Cinema, on Thursday announced its foray into radio broadcasting space with the acquisition of UAE-based radio station ‘Hum 106.2’. ZEEL already operates satellite television channels like Zee Aflam and Zee Alwan in the UAE market.
Hum 106.2, previously owned and operated by Shamal Media Services, is a UAE-based Hindi FM radio channel with a current market share of 26%. The frequency was one of the first Hindi and Urdu language frequencies in the UAE to hit airwaves in the 1990s.
“Radio has been an area of interest for ZEE for quite some time and after extensive planning and studying of the brand values, ratings and revenue generated by various stations, we felt that an investment in Hum FM was the best option,” said Amit Goenka, chief executive officer, international broadcast business, ZEEL, in a statement.
This move comes immediately after ZEEL forayed into film production and distribution in the UAE and middle-east markets. “This investment also shows our commitment to the region and its business landscape. Now, we can offer media across television, radio and digital platforms leading to a great synergy between content and mediums,” said Mukund Cairae, chief executive officer, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific), ZEEL.
Cairae added that ZEEL’s extensive library of music content, including singing reality shows like The Voice India, SaReGaMaPa, Antakshari and Asia’s Singing Superstar, and Zee Music Company can easily help redefine the radio industry in the UAE market. “More announcements are expected in the coming weeks on the future channel programming and its positioning,” the company said in the statement.
Earlier this month, ZEEL entered the Hispanic market with the launch of its Spanish-language Bollywood movie channel Zee Mundo on 13 September. ZEEL also sold its sports network TEN Sports to Sony Pictures Network (SPN) in an all-cash deal worth $385 million on 1 September.
For the quarter ended June 2016, ZEEL had reported a net profit of Rs.218.1 crore, a 21.4% increase from Rs.179.6 crore, in the year-ago period.