Star Sports 1 Malayalam receives TV channel licence from MIB

Star India currently operates five regional sports channels

MUMBAI: In a push for Star India’s regional sports play, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has given the broadcaster a licence to its latest channel – Star Sports 1 Malayalam.

The decision to launch a new regional sports channel hardly comes as a surprise given that senior Star executives have articulated the company’s plans to enter the Malayalam language market for a while now.

Earlier this year, MIB had granted Star India the permission to rename its licences Star Movies Kids and Star Movies Kids HD to Star Sports 1 Bangla and Star Sports 1 Marathi.

Star Sports 1 Bangla was launched on 5 March with an MRP of Rs 19. However, in order to capitalise on the 2019 ICC World Cup cricket fever, Star slashed the price of the channel to Rs 6 per month for the promotional period from 30 May to 27 August.

While the launch dates of Star Sports’ Marathi and Malayalam channels are yet to be confirmed, fans are hoping they will be launched in time for the seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League, which kicks off in July.

The broadcaster currently operates five regional channels - Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada and Star Sports 1 Bangla. The addition of Star Sports 1 Marathi and Star Sports 1 Malayalam would take the tally of Star’s regional sports bouquet to seven.

Star India recorded a humongous 114 million reach during the opening match between England and South Africa on its network. This is the highest for any opening World Cup game and 2.2x of the opening game of the most recently played ICC tournament, the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, between England and Bangladesh. The average impressions recorded for the 2019 World Cup opener were 101 million.

Star’s ICC World Cup 2019 channel bouquet includes Star Sports 1, STAR Sports 2(v), Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Bangla, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 2 HD(v), Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Select 1 SD, Asianet Plus, Jalsha Movies, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Movies, Star Vijay Super.

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