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Star News to launch multiple channels

16-September-2004
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Star News to launch multiple channels

Star News is evaluating the option of launching multiple channels — in other languages as well as in different geographies. The company is expected to take a decision in this regard shortly.

This is a part of the channel’s strategy to grow market share as well as to enter to new markets. “The news business is evolving the world over and it is a mix of a few national networks and a slew of regional channels. We expect a similar trend in India. We want to be a network of channels,” Uday Shankar, chief executive and editor, Star News, said today.

The channel is currently evaluating the options, including the languages as well the geographic regions where it plans to launch the channels. A model like this will give the channel new avenues of growth in terms of advertising revenue as well as viewership.

“The partners in Star News — both ABP Ltd and Star — have experience in the news broadcasting business. We see a great value in India. Various options are being studied at present,” Shankar said.

Asked about the company’s plans for an initial public offer (IPO) to raise funds to meet its requirements for the expansion, he said, “We need funds to meet out ambitious expansion plans. IPO is one of the options that are being considered. The company and the channel has created a brand and value.”

He also said that the channel is also expanding in the international markets with substantial Indian subscribers. Star News, which is currently available on BSkyB’s direct to home (DTH) service in the UK, is also expected to be available on Direct TV platform in the US. “We expect out reach in the international market to grow considerably in the future,” he said.

Asked about the competition in the news and current affairs channel business with the launch of the multiple news channels he said: “I think that there is space for many players. Currently only about 10 per cent of TV audience watch news. In the developed markets this is about much more. Launch of new channels will expand the news genre market.”

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