Will Star TV also distribute UTV's Vijay TV?

As part of its newly-found camaraderie with UTV (see earlier story: UTV eyes foreign skies; to retain Star TV as an investor after IPO), News Television India Ltd - Star TV India - is likely to distribute the UTV-run Vijay TV too. The channel recently telecast the Filmfare South Awards. The addition of Vijay TV - a Tamil channel - to its bag will mean Star TV will have immediately bought its entry into the south.

For long, Star TV has been trying to coerce the politically-linked and Kalanithi Maran-run Sun Network to become its ally. But it has not been successful. It is quite likely that Star TV will use UTV to launch channels in other south Indian languages such as Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

It had earlier contemplated a tieup with the R.Basu-run Broadcast Worldwide Ltd but its MoU with the company has not made any progress. Broadcast Worldwide is slated to launch its Tara Bengali language channel soon and no distribution agreements have been signed with Star TV as yet at the time of writing. News Corp is an investor in Broadcast Worldwide and the Tara bouquet will have Gujarat, Marathi, Bengali, and Punjabi language channels.

The Vijay TV distribution agreement will mean that Star TV will have a bouquet to match Zee TV's package in time to come.

Star TV India CEO Peter Mukerjea is expected to be coopted on the board of UTV in the near future to further cement the close-found relationship between the two companies. UTV is scheduled to go in for any IPO in the next couple of months.

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