Regulatory hurdles prompt Star to telecast IPL's Kannada feed on Star Suvarna Plus

MUMBAI: Star India’s attempts at securing an exclusive sports channel for its Kannada viewers is unlikely to see the light of day this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada has presumably been put on hold due to regulatory hurdles and, instead, the Kannada feed of the IPL 2018 matches will be broadcast on Star Suvarna Plus.

Star India had applied for a name and logo change application to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to launch Star Sports 1 Kannada in place of Channel V. Since the approval has not yet been granted, the broadcaster has announced that Star Suvarna Plus as the destination for the Kannada coverage of matches. The planned date to launch Star Sports 1 Kannada was 16 November 2017.

Channel V started as a pure-play music channel before switching to general entertainment and then back to music. As the channel was searching for its identity, its audience slowly and steadily shifted to other channels and platforms. In a public notice dated 26 October 2017, Star India informed viewers that Channel V would continue to remain available in its current form to all viewers across all addressable platforms (DAS, DTH, IPTV and HITS). Moreover, at an event in Delhi in January this year, Star India MD Sanjay Gupta declined to comment on the status of Star Sports 1 Kannada and added that it was still at the planning stage.

Star India will broadcast live matches of IPL 2018 in six languages—Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada. The league will also be streamed live in the languages on Hotstar.

To build the excitement, Star India has launched a TVC featuring Kannada movie star Shiva Rajkumar.

Commenting on his association with the IPL, Rajkumar said, “I’ve always been a cricket enthusiast and enjoyed playing and watching cricket right from my childhood. Vivo IPL has been one of the tournaments I look forward to every year. I’m excited about my association with Star India for Vivo IPL 2018 and looking forward to enjoying the best of cricketing action for the first time in my mother tongue.”

The eleventh edition of Vivo IPL starts on Saturday, 7 April 2018, with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings.

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