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StarOne 'completes' network's Hindi entertainment channel offering

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MUMBAI: The stage is set for the 1 November launch of StarOne, the most ambitious channel offering from India's lead broadcast network.



With StarOne's launch, the circle will be complete for Star India as far as its Hindi general mass entertainment channels are concerned. And as already reported on indiantelevision.com, this new age offspring of Star India is being pitched as the "next generation of Hindi entertainment television".



The task before StarOne is clear and unambiguous --- to capture urban and upscale non-TV viewers who spend their time at cinema halls, pubs and other means of entertainment. Also, to expand and create of a whole new set of viewers with the opening up of this new "category" in Hindi entertainment.



If Plus catered to the middle class market and ensured dominance in that area, Utsav, the FTA channel launched earlier this year was to ensure prominent market share in the lower end market by taking on the SAB TVs and Saharas head on. With One's entry onto Indian television, the effort is primarily to tap into the high end upmarket audience, who currently may not be tuning into television or flirting with the competition (read Sony Entertainment Television), says senior V-P content and communications Deepak Segal.



SET till date has successfully managed to position itself as a young alternate viewing option that throws up clutter-free programming. Very obviously, StarOne's entry, apart from attracting newer audiences to the TV viewing pie, will be to eat into Sony's loyal viewership share.



"Not often does a brand like this evoke such high interest in the market," asserts senior V-P marketing and communications Ajay Vidyasagar.



Interestingly, the philosophy being evolved viewing, the whole StarOne model was designed by keeping Star Plus as the reference point. Everything that Star Plus lacked has been incorporated into Star One. "This is a very brave effort from Star as we are trying to break away from a success formula which we created ourselves," gushes V-P Content and Communications Ravinath Menon.



Priced at Rs 10 per household, this premium Hindi channel has a distinct look and feel with interesting programming concepts and cutting edge production values. Launching with an array of 21 original programmes across a range of genres, StarOne is hopeful of attracting high end advertisers that news channels and other niche channels were unable to cater to. Additionally, with the mix of Plus, Utsav and now StarOne, advertisers will be able to cover the entire spectrum of Hindi speaking audiences.



Although some might see the content as inspired from international formats, all shows have been commissioned to home grown production houses and hence ensures the expansion of the content business across the country.



STARONE SOON GOING TO UK, US



The channel also has overseas ambitions with plans to be distributed in the US as well as on the Sky Network in the UK. "This will ensure that the StarOne also caters to the second and the third generation Indians overseas who will find the programming a lot more urban and contemporary," says Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea.



With Star's distribution pretty much in place, Star officials do not seem too concerned about this aspect. However they are leaving nothing to chance and have put in major efforts to ensure high reach of the channel across regions.



BIG MARKETING SPLASH



Touted as one of the heavy budget campaigns of the season, Star seems to have left no stone unturned in its marketing endeavour in creating high buzz and optimum visibility for this infant brand.



What will be interesting to watch now is what impact StarOne will have on Sony's GRP's in the coming months. The team at Sony would be hoping that "the whole new set of viewers" that StarOne expects will onto the channel will not principally be made up of its viewer share.

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