SYDNEY (AFP) - Asia-Pacific nations could soon have the chance to compete in their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest, pitting K-pop and Bollywood talent against stars from China and Japan.
Australian broadcaster SBS said in a statement Monday (March 21) it had secured an exclusive option to bring the concept to the region, with an inaugural event in Australia possible as early as 2017.
If finalised, Eurovision Asia would bring together songwriters and performers from 20 countries and would be hosted in other competitor nations following its Australian debut.
SBS Eurovision production partners Blink TV, who would help develop Eurovision Asia for broadcast, said the show could reach an Asian audience of more than a billion.
The existing competition is watched every year by around 200 million.
"Asia has an astonishing set of musical and visual cultures, and it will make for brilliant television," said Blink TV director Paul Clark.
"Imagine - the musical virtuosity of Bollywood, the cutting edge of K-pop, and the excitement of Chinese and Japanese artists - now the biggest music consumers in the world... it's a thrilling idea."
Last November Australia said it would compete at this year's Eurovision Song Contest for the second time, following its wildcard entry last year.
Eurovision, now in its 61st year, features acts ranging from the brilliant to the bizarre and pulls in a TV audience from around the world, including in Australia where it has long enjoyed a cult following.
It was shown in China for the first time in 2015.