STAR News is literally going places. The channel has now gone beyond the Indian shores and is now available in the US of A.
The launch became a reality as Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp, which is also a sister concern, recently acquired a DTH distribution company called DirecTV. In the US, STAR News will be distributed through this DirecTV.
Uday Shankar, officiating CEO, editor and director, STAR News, says, "Launching the channel through cable network in the US market was not a feasible option keeping in mind the vast topography of the country. With News Corp acquiring this distribution company, we got this opportunity and immediately acted on it."
Talking about the strategy behind the US launch, Shankar says, "While entertainment channels already have a market out there, there is also a tremendous scope for news channels as the NRI community in the US are always on the look out for hardcore information on developments happening back in India.
Incidentally, STAR News is also available in the UK and west Asia. The UK channel was launched a year ago and is distributed by the SKY DTH platform.
The channel will now provide a long needed link to India for the Indian community in the US. The channel offering will include continuous updates, news and views from India and abroad, in-depth analysis on the day's top news and newsmakers from the world of politics, current affairs, sports as well as entertainment.
While the US channel will have a similar feed as its Indian counterpart, Shankar says, "After the initial phase is over, we will have two hours of customised programing in the US prime time." This means that channel will have exclusive India-related news which is expected to be of great interest for the NRI community.
The channel executives are hopeful about the revenue part. While substantial revenue will come from subscriptions, the channel is also looking forward to localised advertisement from brands, which cater to the Indian community out there. Shankar says, "Indian exporters and brands, catering to the NRI community in US, will also use the channel as a platform to promote their products."
When asked about the revenue sharing between STAR News and News Corp for the subscription revenues, Shankar declined to divulge the details.
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