Mumbai: Indian content conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) on Thursday announced its foray into the radio industry with the acquisition of UAEs Hum 106.2 FM radio station.
This now enables ZEE provide an extensive media solution to its partners through television, radio and digital media.
After being a pioneer with the launch of India's first Hindi satellite channel, Zee TV in 1992, Zee Entertainment was the first to launch a Bollywood TV channel, Zee Aflam in 2008 for the Arab audience as well introduce the Arab world to Hindi programs dubbed in Arabic with Zee Alwan in 2012.
Commenting on the latest acquisition, Amit Goenka, CEO - International Broadcast Business, ZEEL said in a statement: "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."
According to Goenka, Hum FM has a legacy of almost two decades and with a current market share of 26 per cent, it is the top Hindi radio station in the UAE.
"ZEE is confident that it can leverage its very strong South-Asian brand connect onto Radio, and offer a synergy of television, radio and digital that could revolutionize the entertainment industry in the UAE.
"We are excited about our new business ventures. Radio comes immediately after our foray into film production and distribution where movies like ‘Rustom' and ‘The Flying Jatt' have done extremely well globally and specifically in the UAE and Middle East markets. The acquisition of Hum FM in UAE is a step in that direction and we are upbeat about its prospect in the coming years" he added.
106.2 Hum FM was one of the first Hindi and Urdu language frequencies to hit the UAE airwaves in the 1990s. And its acquisition by ZEEL is a mark of the conglomerate's "commitment to the region and its business landscape," said Mukund Cairae, CEO - MENA and APAC, ZEEL.
Shahid Jamal, founder and managing director of Shamal Media Services, which previously owned and operated the station, said: "Hum FM pioneered FM Radio in UAE and over the years, we have made it the No. 1 Radio Station. It is now a great opportunity for us to hand over our successful radio legacy to a media network that has been a pioneer of South Asian entertainment globally and in the region."