Star looking to up distribution numbers on BSkyB with new deal

MUMBAI: Star Plus and Star News look set to get serious a leg-up in their UK distribution numbers.

Come 1 March 2004, Star Plus and Star News will be available to over seven million subscribers of Sky Digital's Family Pack or Lifestyle Pack without having to pay an additional subscription fee.

Until now, the two channels have been available to Sky subscribers only on an additional fee payment of ?12 a month.

BSkyB and Star announced this today adding that other than widening access to Star Plus and Star News, this move will enable existing Star subscribers to save up to ?144 per year while being able to access 109 entertainment, music, documentary, lifestyle and news TV channels. This also includes three regional radio stations and 11 national radio and audio channels.

"This is great news for advertisers who now have a vehicle to target the largest South Asian TV audience in the UK," said Star's UK head of sales Nick Thind.

Star Plus was voted the UK's Favourite International Channel in the 2002 Scorpio Multimedia Cable TV Awards, according to a company release.

In India, the channel has completed its third year as India's Number one entertainment channel on cable. Following the re-branding of Star News in April 2003, the channel has doubled its viewership in India, the statement claims.

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