Star to revise pricing from Feb, launch five new channels

MUMBAI: Even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified amendments to the new tariff order (NTO), broadcaster Star India has decided to revise the price of its channels effective 1st February 2020.

The broadcaster said that the current MRP is for existing distribution platform operators (DPO) and shall be valid till 31st January 2020. Incidentally, the amended tariff order and regulations come into force from March 2020.

As part of its amendments to the new regulatory framework, the TRAI has decided to put a cap on the a-la-carte price of channels as well as place reasonable restrictions on the formation of bouquets. The authority has also decided that only those channels which are having MRP of Rs. 12 or less will be permitted to be part of the bouquet offered by broadcasters.

In October, Star India had launched ‘Tyohar ka Upahar’ promotional offer for its 16 a-la-carte channels including Star Plus, Maa TV, Star Jalsha, Vijay, Asianet, and Hungama TV. As part of the festive offer, the prices of Star Plus, Maa TV, Star Jalsha, Asianet, Vijay TV, and Asianet Movies was revised to Rs 12.

Under the new pricing, Star Plus, Star Jalsha, Maa TV, Vijay TV, Asianet, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Marathi, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Bangla, Star Sports 1 Kannada, and Star Sports Select 1 will be priced at Rs 19 each.

Star Gold, Maa Movies, and Asianet Movies will be priced at Rs 15 each. Star Bharat and Star Suvarna will have an MRP of Rs 12 each. Jalsha Movies and Star Pravah will be priced at Rs 10 each. Other standard definition (SD) channels are priced below Rs 10.

12 of the 29 HD channels are priced at Rs 19 each while five channels have an MRP of Rs 15 each. Star World HD and Disney International HD are priced Rs 12 and Rs 14 respectively. Three HD channels have a pricing of Rs 10.

Launch of new channels in Feb-Mar

Meanwhile, Star has revealed that it will expand its bouquet by launching five new channels in February and March. The broadcaster will launch two standard definition (SD) and three high definition (HD) channels respectively.

The broadcaster is also rebranding its Hindi movie channel Movies OK as Star Gold 2.

The SD channels that will launch are Vijay Music and Star Movies Select while the HD channels include Star Gold 2 HD, Star Sports 3 HD, and Disney Channel HD.

Vijay Music, Star Movies Select, Star Gold 2 HD, and Star Sports 3 HD will launch on 1st February while Disney Channel HD will launch on 1st March.

Vijay Music is priced at Rs 1 while Star Movies Select has an MRP of Rs 2. Star Gold 2 HD and Star Sports 3 HD are priced at Rs 5 each while Disney Channel HD has a price of Rs 10.

Vijay Music is a Tamil music channel and will be the third channel in the language from Star. The broadcaster currently operates Vijay TV and Vijay Super.

Star Movies Select is the SD version of Star Movies Select HD. Star Movies Select is a premium English movie offering from Star. The channel’s proposition is 365 days, 365 stories offering viewers a new movie, one for each day of the year.

The broadcaster’s English movie cluster comprises of Star Movies, Star Movies HD, and Star Movies Select HD. Star Movies Select will be the fourth channel in the genre by the broadcaster.

Star India is launching a multi-lingual sports channel Star Sports 3 thereby taking forward its strategy of offering sports content in regional languages.

The broadcaster will also expand its bouquet of HD sports channels with Star Sports 3 HD. Launched in September 2015, Star Sports 3 is a multi-lingual channel that offers audio feeds in the local language of respective states. The channel was launched in place of Channel V, which was shut down.

Currently, Star offers five HD sports channels. The launch of Star Sports 3 HD will take the number to six.

Star Gold 2 HD will be the HD variant of Star Gold 2, the erstwhile Movies OK, which was launched back 2012. The rebranding of Movies OK follows the broadcaster’s strategy of phasing out the OK brand. Earlier, Hindi GEC Life OK was rebranded as Star Bharat with a new brand proposition and content strategy.

Disney Channel HD will be the second HD channel in Star’s kids bouquet. The broadcaster owns and operates a pre-school channel Baby TV HD. Disney Channel HD will be the third kids HD channel after Nick HD+ and Cartoon Network HD+.

With the launch of these five channels, Star’s channel bouquet will go up to 76. Last year, the broadcaster had launched National Geographic Tamil and National Geographic Telugu.

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