News Corporation's STAR and DIRECTV Launch STAR India GOLD; Sign Multi-Year, Four-Channel Carriage Extension

Oct 06, 2010, 07:00 ET from STAR

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- DIRECTV, the world's most popular video service, and STAR, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation and Asia's leading media and entertainment company, today announced a multi-year extension for the carriage of STAR India PLUS, STAR ONE and STAR India NEWS along with the launch of STAR India GOLD on DIRECTV's South-Asian international platform.

STAR India GOLD, one of India's top movie channels, is a twenty-four-seven Hindi movie channel that brings the biggest and best Bollywood blockbusters to audiences. With one of the most formidable Indian film libraries in the world, the channel offers a wide variety of films for the entire family, showcasing Bollywood's hottest and most legendary stars and filmmakers.  STAR India PLUS is one of the most watched Hindi general entertainment channels in North America and has been India's number one general entertainment channel for the past 10 years.  

DIRECTV became STAR's first programming partner in the U.S. when the STAR channels made their American debut in November, 2004.  

"Since their launch in 2004, STAR's leading Indian channels have become household names among DIRECTV's South Asian subscribers," said David Wisnia, STAR's Senior Vice President of Distribution, Sales and Marketing and head of STAR's North American office. "We are excited to extend our relationship with our partners at DIRECTV and are confident that with the launch of STAR India GOLD, viewers will get to see the best of Bollywood and continue to be captivated by the top rated comedies, drama series, reality shows and news programs that our other top rated STAR channels showcase on a daily basis."

"DIRECTV has become the destination for South-Asian consumers who want the best and most relevant Indian programming," said Toby Berlin, vice president of DIRECTV Programming Acquisitions. "We are thrilled to not only extend our relationship with STAR but to also enhance it with the launch of STAR India Gold, Hindi cinema entertainment at its best."

DIRECTV's HindiDirect and HindiDirect™ II programming packages are part of the DIRECTV International programming platform and are tailored toward Hindi-speaking audiences within the United States.  DIRECTV International customers must first subscribe to DIRECTV BASIC CHOICE™ ($12.99/mo) or any DIRECTV base programming package ($29.99/mo or above). For more information on how to receive STAR customers should call 1-800-378-4179.

DIRECTV's International programming platform currently offers 130 channels* that deliver a wide variety of programming in multiple foreign-languages, including Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, and Greek, to emerging ethnic markets throughout the United States. *Includes English-language broadcast channels with alternate Spanish-language audio.

About STAR

STAR India is a leading media and entertainment company, broadcasting 32 channels in eight languages to more than 168 million people every week across India and more than 65 countries across the globe. Its channel portfolio includes household brands Star Plus, Star One, Star Gold, Channel [V], Star Jalsha, Star Pravah, Star World, Star Movies, Star Utsav and joint venture channels Asianet, Asianet Plus, Star Vijay, Suvarna, Star News, ESPN and Star Sports. STAR India also manages a portfolio of business ventures including DTH operator Tata Sky, Cable system Hathway, channel distributor STAR Den, news channel operator MCCS, south Indian broadcast business of Asianet channels and STAR Vijay, film producer and distributor Fox STAR Studios India and STAR CJ Home Shopping.  Its business has greater breadth and depth than any other broadcaster in the country.

Star India is a fully owned subsidiary of News Corporation www.newscorp.com

About DIRECTV

DIRECTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is the world's most popular video service delivering state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming, the most comprehensive sports packages available and industry leading customer service to its more than 26.3 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.  In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 18.7 million customers access to 160 HD channels and  Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound (when available), access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, award winning technology like its DIRECTV® DVR Scheduler and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for nine years running.  DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 7.6 million customers.  DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 65 percent interest in Game Show Network.  For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please call 1-800-DIRECTV or visit directv.com.

STAR CHANNELS FACT SHEET

STAR India PLUS: India's number one Hindi pay-TV channel regularly features many of the top programs in the country week in, week out.  Prime time programs on STAR PLUS include household-name soap operas such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thii and Bidaayi as well as some of the nation's favorite reality and game shows. 

STAR ONE: Unleashing the next generation of Hindi entertainment, STAR ONE offers an innovative, diverse mix of programming and cutting edge production values that appeal to urban, upwardly mobile Indian audiences. Top rating programs on the channel include drama Dill Mill Gayye and comedy show, the Great Indian Laughter Challenge

STAR India NEWS:  Offers 24-hour Hindi news close to the hearts of viewers. The channel focuses on significant news in a cutting-edge format. It covers the full spectrum of news ranging from politics to business, investigative reports to consumer issues, and crime to the environment. Reporting news as it happens in India and with links to international news agencies, STAR NEWS keeps viewers fully informed and engaged.

STAR India GOLD: Brings to audiences the best and biggest Bollywood blockbusters. With one of the most formidable Indian film libraries in the world, the channel offers a wide variety of films for the entire family, showcasing Bollywood's hottest and most legendary stars and filmmakers.

SOURCE STAR



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