MUMBAI: Within a year of its launch in India and the Middle East, UTV is launching its Bollywood channel UTV STARS in the UK market starting 11 June.
In UK, however, the channel will be named as UMP Stars. “We are launching Stars in UK, ahead of our plan after seeing its success in India. We already have a very successful Hindi movie channel in UK (UMP Movies) and UMP Stars will further add to the Bollywood quotient and increase our foothold in the diaspora,” Disney UTV executive director- Youth Channels, Media Networks Nikhil Gandhi tells Indiantelevision.com.
Starting Monday, UMP Stars will be available as a free-to-air channel on Sky EPG 853. The ad sales of the channel will be handled by Sky Media, while TVMedia3.com, which distributes Disney UTV Channels in UK and Europe, will handle distribution.
UK is the fifth market UTV Stars is stepping into. After a simultaneous launch in India and the Middle East, the channel was subsequently launched in Malaysia, Australia.
UMP Stars, says Gandhi, will live up to the philosophy of “Living Bollywood”. “Bollywood cuts across and there is huge diaspora in the UK with high appetite for the Bollywood content. After the launch of UMP movies in December last year in UK, we see this as the next logical step. We actually preponed our launch plan,” Gandhi adds.
UTV Stars’s content primarily has film music, features and non-fiction programming and news segments.
“50 per cent of our FPC is dedicated to music as we are catering to the youth audiences and music is an integral part of Bollywood. But in primetime we have all new content. Our content is not run of the mill that other channels air. Because of this, we are getting better subscription and ad revenues,” Gandhi claims.
He also adds that the content of UTV Stars is being offered on many international flights as in-flight entertainment.
UTV Stars is a full HD channel and was launched on 19 August.