BSkyB, UK’s leading digital TV provider, and Star, Asia’s largest television network, announced that Star’s flagship Hindi entertainment and news channels will be available on Sky Digital from March 1, 2004. The two channels are Star Plus and Star News, the first South Asian news channel in the UK.
From March 1, 2004, people in over 7 million households who subscribe to Sky Digital’s Family Pack or Lifestyle Pack will be able to watch Star Plus and Star News without paying any additional subscription fee. Until now, the two channels have only been available to Sky customers who choose to pay an additional fee of £12 a month. In addition to widening access to Star Plus and Star News, this change will enable existing Star subscribers to save up to £144 per year while being able to access 109 entertainment, music, documentary, lifestyle and news TV channels. This also includes three regional radio stations and 11 national radio and audio channels.
Head of Marketing for STAR in the UK, Suruchi Sthalekar, remarks, “This is fantastic news for our existing UK satellite Asian viewers, offering huge savings and more choice for the entire family across all ages, through the Sky Family Pack. It meets the demands of today’s South Asian audiences, where families want to keep in touch and maintain a strong cultural bond with their roots.”
Richard Freudenstein, Sky’s Chief Operating Officer says, “As a customer-focused organisation, we are pleased to be offering an even more compelling Sky Digital experience to over 2.3 million South Asians in Britain.”
Nick Thind, Head of Sales for STAR in the UK states, “This is great news for advertisers who now have a vehicle to target the largest South Asian TV audience in the UK.”
Following the rebranding of Star News in April 2003, the channel doubled its viewership in India. Today, it attracts a larger audience in India than CNN, CNBC and BBC World combined.