STAR World Premier, the new HD channel to be launched by STAR India, will offer American TV series to the English viewing segment in India, such that all the shows on the channel will be telecast within 12-24 hours of their launch in America. Launching with 26 shows, the channel hence goes into a weekly show mode as the American television habit. The network already has STAR World, its English GEC, which is available in HD version too.
This will be the 11th channel in the English GEC space along with Australia Network, Big CBS Prime, STAR World, STAR World HD, FX, Zee Cafe, AXN, Fox Crime, Big CBS Love and Comedy Central.
Four studios will contribute to the content of STAR World Premier, including Fox Studios, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Disney. The channel could have to shift the telecast of the shows by a day, vis-a-vis their American launches. Kevin Vaz, business head, STAR English channels boasts of entertaining about two thirds of the total English viewers in the country through six channels (excluding STAR World Premier HD). It is expected that all the HD audience will sample the new channel.
Despite being a paid channel, advertising will also be a stream of revenue for STAR World Premier. With this, the network is targeting about one and a half million households which have HD set-top boxes.
The channel is being promoted on STAR India's HD channels, along with a strong digital campaign. It will be available on all platforms that carry STAR channels.
It is learnt that the channel is the first of its kind from the stable and is a unique offering. The network had received a lot of queries regarding how the American shows can be made available simultaneously to the Indian audience.
Vaz suggests that English content viewing has increased tremendously, even in the 1 million plus towns, not just the metros. While he refused to divulge any details on the expected break even time of the channel, it is learnt that getting these shows early have cost a premium acquisition price for the network, too.
As reported earlier, while shows like 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D', 'The Blacklist', 'Betrayal', 'Dads', 'The Goldbergs', 'The Michael J. Fox Show', 'Mom' and 'Sleepy Hollow' will run on television for the first time, Indian audiences will get to see the latest seasons of shows such as 'The Simpsons' (S25), 'New Girl' (S3), 'Revolution' (S2) , 'Two & A Half Men' (S11), 'White Collar' (S5), 'Sons of Anarchy' (S6), 'Revenge' (S3), 'Person of Interest' (S3), 'New Girl' (S3), 'The Neighbors' (S2), 'Last Man Standing' (S3), 'Modern Family' (S5), 'Homeland' (S3), 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (S9), 'Castle' (S6) and 'Criminal Minds (S9).
With this launch, the network has increased its portfolio to 41 channels, including the sports channels of the network.