agencyfaqs! News Bureau
MUMBAI, October 12
The decision to make Star Plus a total Hindi channel and launch a mega game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, has proved to be a big boost to Star network's fortunes in India.
Riding on the popularity of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Rupert Murdoch-owned network has upped its revenue projections for the current year. It is targeting ad sales revenue of Rs 550 crore, which is almost double last year's ad revenue of Rs 280 crore.
The network has also set itself a subscription target of Rs 77 crore for the year ended June 2001. The network hopes to touch a total revenue figure of Rs 700 crore in the current year, almost double from last year's earnings of Rs 360 crore. Star TV's remaining revenue of Rs 73 crore will come from international marketing and programme syndication. The revenue target of Rs 700 crore will not include the earnings from the sports channel, Star Sports, which is a joint venture company with ESPN.
Star TV has big investment plans for the country as well. It hopes to take its total investments in the Indian operations up to $300 million by the end of 2001. The network is also planning to launch a health and an educational channel early next year, besides the children's channel Fox Kids.
The subscription revenue, which was $16 million last year, is expected to go up substantially as Star has increased the pricing of its bouquet of channels. It recently launched Star Gold, a classic Hindi movie channel, to complement the existing range of channels. Though Star Gold has not yet managed to get major cable networks like SitiCable, INCablenet and RPG in Calcutta to carry the channel, Star expects the initial resistance to wear off. Star TV is also negotiating with Walt Disney to distribute the channel in the country.
Riding high on the success of KBC, Star TV is working on an advertising cross-programme and cross-channel package for Star Plus and its other bouquet of channels. In the pay-TV business, Star already has a bouquet of channels like Star News, Star Plus, National Geographic channel and Star Movies. The proposed launch of new channels early next year would hopefully add to the subscription revenue.
The spot rates of KBC are Rs 979,000 for 30-second slot, which translates into Rs 326,000 per 10 seconds. The other shows in Star Plus have also seen an increase in their ratings in recent times.
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