In yet another exclusive news break, we can confirm that Europe۪s leading Asian TV service ZEE Network is in the process of launching its very own radio station.

Details are sketchy at present, however with this; ZEE Network will become the first Asian TV broadcaster to launch such a radio channel. When we contacted ZEE Network UK about this, an official confirmed the news but declined to divulge further details. It is also understood that the broadcaster has been on the lookout for voices for its new service.

A name for the station has not been confirmed but it is expected to be ZEE branded, i.e. ZEE Radio.

ZEE Network UK has remained tight-lipped about its forthcoming plans since the sudden closure of South Asia World on Sky Digital in November. A replacement for the channel was expected in December. However five months later, it is now clear why ZEE Network opted to stay quiet about its immediate plans. It is likely the channel will fill in the void left by South Asia World on Sky Digital. There is also speculation about the station launching on various DAB multiplexes.

When ZEE Radio۝ does go live, it will no doubt rustle a few feathers in the London market, including Sunrise Radio and Club Asia. It goes without saying that ZEE Network has had tremendous success within the TV sector worldwide and to some extent with print publication also with Daily News Analysis DNA (joint venture with Dainik Bhaskar Group. Radio will be a completely new territory ZEE will be delving into. So, will ZEE Radio۝ go solo in this or could it be collaborating with an existing UK radio station?

Prior to ZEE Network launching in the UK market in 1994, TV Asia had a similar set-up with its radio arm called Radio Asia. The service complemented TV Asia and was available for a limited time on analogue satellite.

Incidentally, BizAsia.co.uk۪s Weekly Poll for this week (15th April 2007) asks whether Asian TV channels should broadcast their content such as soaps & news on UK radio stations, over half of voters said yes۝ TV channels should broadcast their material on radio stations.

It would be interesting to see what exactly ZEE Radio۝ will be broadcast on its station. It has ample content from its Indian TV channels including access to ZEE News for round the clock news, ZEE Sports for sports content, ZEE Cinema for film expertise and ZEE TV for general entertainment content and maybe a radio adaptation of popular soaps like Saat Phere۪ and Kasamh Se۪ in the style of BBC Radio 4۪s The Archers۪ drama.

It seems like a novel money spinning idea but how much of it will impact the already crowded UK Asian radio market remains to be seen. Keep it with BizAsia.co.uk for the utmost latest.