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Star TV to undergo rebranding in UK, Europe market

Star Plus has retained the leadership position in UK market for long.

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KOLKATA: The Walt Disney Company (Disney) is rebranding Star TV channels in one of its biggest diaspora market — the UK and rest of Europe. Disney has undertaken the rebranding exercise at a time when the media conglomerate is pushing Indian TV brand Star even for its streaming business.

According to media reports, Star Plus HD will be rebranded Utsav Plus HD, Star Gold HD as Utsav Gold HD, Star Bharat as Utsav Bharat 22 January onwards. Among Indian channels in the UL market, Star Plus has retained the leadership position for a long time. The channels are available in over 10 million UK households, according to Star’s official website.  Disney acquired Star India in 2019 as part of its Fox deal.

“As we move forward in 2021 with a sense of hope and optimism, there could not be a better time to reflect the same spirit in our brand. We are thrilled to announce that Star will rebrand its channels to ‘Utsav’ (meaning celebration) on 22 January 2021 in the UK and Europe to celebrate positivity and energy reinforced through our loved characters. The Utsav logo, infused from the Star logo, signifies stability and progress while the trademark swoosh pays homage to the insurmountable human spirit,” the network said in a release.

Launch of the service in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is scheduled for 23 February 2021. It will be a fully-integrated part of Disney+, but with its own branded tile. Rather than limiting Star as part of Disney’s wide bouqet, the inclination towards it indicates how the media conglomerate wants to promote it as a content brand.

"The fact that Disney Plus has grown rapidly both domestically and globally clearly demonstrates our content value. Through the addition of Star branded general entertainment offering we are further extending our value of content internationally," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said. 

Notably, Disney has pulled out its kids channel in the UK market already but is not giving up on general entertainment, mainly due to its popularity among the diaspora audience. Disney is giving a new life to Star brand as it will launch a new general entertainment streaming service under the same name. It is using the brand as a way to distribute its general entertainment content, including sports and TV shows targeted at older audiences, outside the US market.

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