Abu Dhabi Media Company has inked a deal with India media giant ENIL to launch the Hindi-language station Radio Mirchi across the UAE, media reports said Sunday.
The state-owned media firm plans to launch India's largest FM radio station at the end of January in a bid to tap into the region’s sizeable expatriate Indian market, said Campaign Middle East.
The deal will see ENIL provide limited advisory services for the launch of its station, as well as a conditional license for ADM’s use of the brand, the magazine reported.
ADMC declined to comment when contacted by Arabian Business, but the chief executive officer of ENIL has confirmed the deal to a number of media outlets.
“There is a huge demand for brand Mirchi in the UAE,” he said in an interview with RadioandMusic.com. “A large part of the UAE’s population is from India who have obviously experienced Mirchi first-hand. They want the same brand experience in the UAE but they are unable to get it at this point in time.
“There is also a very large diaspora from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who like Indian music and have heard of brand Mirchi.”
Radio Mirchi is a popular network of private FM radio stations across the whole of India, owned by ENIL, a subsidiary of the The Times Group.
The group reported an 11 percent jump in revenues in the nine months to Sept 31, 2011, which is described as modest growth in the difficult economic climate.
Abu Dhabi Media is headquartered in the UAE capital, but has offices in Cairo, Beirut, Dubai and Jeddah. The firm made 100 redundancies in its broadcast division last year as part of company-wide revamp.
In an interview with Arabian Business last November, Image Nation, a subsidiary of ADMC, also voiced its intention to tap the growing Indian market with new investments.
The company’s chairman, Mohammed Al Mubarak, said his firm was mulling new deals in the lucrative Bollywood market after the success of its 2010 film My Name Is Khan.