STAR India, through which News Corp was present in the news genre in India, dissolved its eight-year old partnership with Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP) and in the process exited the news space in India. The move raises questions on what would STAR India’s next steps be in this genre.
As is known, STAR has an existing relation with NDTV Group, where it handles the revenue functions – sales and distribution – for NDTV channels.
The industry was abuzz with speculations that STAR India would look to take its relation with NDTV a notch up and invest in the company in some form. However, it appears that any such plans are on the backburner for now.
In a conversation with exchange4media, STAR India, CEO, Uday Shankar said, “There is nothing we intend to do in the news space for the moment.”
One of the reasons cited for this decision is the 26 per cent FDI cap in the news genre in India. “Due to this, we cannot participate in any managerial function of the channel and that really is where our core expertise lies. We are not financial investors,” remarked Shankar.
The 26 per cent cap does on foreign direct investment in a news channel implies that the foreign company cannot participate in content, brand building or brand monetising of the news channel.