Star India's FTA Hindi channel Utsav launching 7 June

MUMBAI: Star Plus' "flanker" channel sibling is finally ready to make its bow and it's not named Classic. Come 7 June and the Hindi entertainment space will see the entry of Star Utsav (meaning celebration), a free-to-air channel made up of reruns of the popular shows that Star Plus has generated over the last four years.

The entire Hindi speaking cable & satellite universe is what Star India COO Sameer Nair expects to reach through Star Utsav, especially the smaller cities and towns where Star Plus is not widely available. We are going in to the market and seeding 5,000 receivers, says Nair, while adding that there are some major distribution/trade related activities being organised around the channel's launch. There will be a lot of advertising on cable channels as well as trade related magazines as an adjunct to this effort, Nair says.

From an advertising point of view, Utsav offers Star the opportunity to tap into the local advertising space that opened up after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in February allowed foreign broadcasters to garner ads from the local non-exporting advertiser. Nair says the rates on Utsav will be extremely competitive, and will offer the smaller players a "quality channel" to advertise on.


According to Star India marketing and channel communications head Ajay Vidyasagar, Utsav, when packaged with the network's Hindi movie channel Star Gold, "can combat the rest of the Hindi entertainment channels as far as advertising is concerned."

Clearly the plan is that while Star Plus retains its numero uno position in the ad stakes, Utsav will work from the flanks eating into the ad pies that the likes of No 2 channel Sony Entertainment and the No 3 Zee TV have carved out for themselves.


Elaborating on the programming strategy behind Star Utsav, Nair says the scheduling had been done in such a manner that Utsav will function as an alternative channel that complements Star Plus.

One issue that Nair's team had to keep in mind while working out programming scheduling was that the top three shows on Star Plus --- Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kasauti Zindagi Kay --- be protected from any possibility of erosion in their viewership. And Utsav's FPC has been organised keeping that thought in mind. Which is why KSBKBT, which will be Utsav's driver programme in the launch phase, has been slotted at 7 pm Mondays through to Thursdays.

Another point that needs noting is that Star is spacing out its "big gun" programmes and will not be launching them all in a bunch. That is why in the FPC made available to there is no KGGK or KZK among the shows in the list. Instead, lining up alongside KSBKBT is Saans, one of Star's critically acclaimed shows that had its run during the period that Star Plus was an also ran channel.

One aspect about Utsav that gives Nair a big kick is the fact that with a ready bank of programming available, it offers him and his team much leeway on the scheduling front.

And what of the show that started Star on the road to pre-eminence --- Kaun Banega Crorepati? That will most likely be Utsav's Diwali offering, says Nair.

Now that Star's FTA channel is ready to roll, the industry will be awaiting the next channel that is expected to come from India's lead broadcaster's brains trust in the coming months --- Plus II. Of course, there might well be a name change when it does finally launch.

Latest Reads
Q3-16: DIRECTV mitigates AT&T U-Verse TV subscriber numbers fall

BENGALURU: AT&T acquired DIRECTV added 323,000 net subscribers and hence helped mitigate the company’s Entertainment and Internet Services Group (Entertainment) segment’s loss of 326,000 U-Verse subscribers for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q3-16, current quarter). About 70 percent of...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
"Let India open its market, we will open ours" - PEMRA chairman Absar Alam

Pakistan’s TV watchdog - the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) - charimanAbsarAlam was in the line of Pakistan’s Geo News anchor Shahzaib Khanzada’s fire last week. In his Monday to Thrusday current affairs talk show AajShahzaibKhanzada Kay Sath - the anchor grilled him time...

Television TV Channels GECs
BIG Magic acquires 'Boonie Bears' exclusive FTA rights

BIG Magic has acquired exclusive FTA rights of ‘Boonie Bears’, the No.1 and most popular animated series in China. BIG Magic has renamed it ‘Babloo Dabloo’ for the Hindi viewing audience. Babloo Dabloo airs every Monday – Sunday 10 am – 11 am & 5 pm – 6 pm only on BIG Magic

Television TV Channels GECs
PBL: Setting stage for next big thing on Indian sporting landscape

India has witnessed the emergence of a multi-sports culture over the past few years. This significant development has come on the back of a promising display by Indian sportspersons across various disciplines, the meteoric rise of home grown leagues and the consequent widening of the fan base of...

Television TV Channels Sports
CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories