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STAR's broadband project put on hold

07-July-2001
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STAR's broadband project put on hold

STAR India Limited, has put on hold for the time being its ambitious plans to offer broadband and interactive services in India.

"STAR India plans are very much in place. Because of the knock the industry had taken over the last few quarters the world over, we have not dropped any of our plans but put on hold for the time being. As and when there is a turn around, we will launch our bouquet of services," STAR India CEO Peter Mukerjea claimed on the sidelines of the launching of the first private FM radio station to which STAR will be providing the content on music and entertainment.

The company was restructuring the various channels and services being offered, to consolidate its leadership in the satellite and cable television industry. The company is restructuring the leading channels like STAR Plus, STAR Movies, and STAR News to be more focused on the subcontinent and offer India-specific programs for warding off competition from other leading satellite TV channels like ZEE and Sony.

Admitting that ZEE News and Aaj Tak had a competitive edge over STAR in telecast of Hindi news, Mukerjea said the channel was working out new plans to provide better and exclusive content in the national language. "We are talking to NDTV Productions to revamp the content provision for Hindi though we are ahead in the English section," he added. Asked whether the contract with NDTV for providing news and current affairs would continue after its expiry next year as its chief (Prannoy Roy) was planning to launch his own independent satellite channel to provide news, views, and entertainment, Mukerjea said the issue had not yet been taken up.

Besides broadband and interactive services, the News Television Networks of STAR was slated to launch a news portal from Bangalore, but it could not take off in the wake of the dotcom bust and the subsequent tech meltdown.

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