Disney UTV Network will launch its Bollywood entertainment channel UTV Stars in the United Kingdom as UMP Stars on June 11. The free-to-air channel will be available on the Sky network. The programming of the channel will primarily include features and reality programming, news segments and dedicated music slots.
It is learnt that the network acquired the license for the channel in January. Nikhil Gandhi, executive director, youth channels, media networks, Disney UTV, says, "UK has a rich Indian diaspora and hence, the Bollywood fan base is large. Since UMP Movies was received well by the UK audiences, we decided to launch UMP Stars."
In due course of time, the channel also plans to produce some local content for the UK audiences, once the channel settles in the new market and is received well.
For advertisements, UK-based advertisers will be approached through the Sky network, the ad sales partner for the two channels in the UK, UMP Movies (launched in December, 2011) and UMP Stars. Gandhi adds, "About combining the two channels for the advertisers, Sky has to take that decision once the channels are settled in the UK market."
In an official communiqué, Richard Hawking, operations director, Sky Media, says, "This is the second UMP channel in our portfolio. Following the success of UMP Movies, UMP Stars strengthens and broadens our Asian offering to advertisers, while delivering Bollywood content to Sky's customers."
TVMedia3.com distributes Disney UTV channels in the UK and Europe, and consummates the deals between Sky and Disney UTV.
For the records, UTV Stars is available in India, UAE, Malaysia, Australia and now, the UK. Apart from UTV Stars (known as UMP Stars in UK), the networks has UTV Movies (known as UMP Movies in the UK), UTV World Movies, UTV Action, UTV Action Telugu and Bindass.