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Star to launch Star Sports 3, continue sports investments: Gautam Thakar

Channel V will make way for the launch of Star Sports 3

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MUMBAI: Uday Shankar, the man on Urmi Estate’s 37th floor, has made his next move. Star India is set to launch a multi-lingual channel Star Sports 3 in place of Channel V on 15 September 2018, the broadcaster has confirmed. 

“India's appetite for sports beyond cricket is growing and viewers are expecting good quality broadcast of a wide range of sports. To cater to this need, we are launching a new channel Star Sports 3, and to begin with we will broadcast the Hero ISL Season 5 in Hindi,” Star Sports CEO Gautam Thakar told Indiantelevision.com, highlighting the rationale behind the network’s decision to add a channel to it sports bouquet.

Thakar, who took over as Star Sports CEO on 15 January, also added that Star India is likely to pump in more cash into its sports business.

“In line with our commitment of fostering a multi-sports culture in the country, we have grown our sports portfolio and its offerings and we will continue to actively invest in,” he said.

Star Sports 3 along with three other channels that went off air on 29 May 2017 were replaced by Star Sports Tamil, Star Sports Hindi 1, Star Sports Select 1 SD and Star Sports Select 2 SD. 

Towards the end of last year, Star India contemplated taking Channel V off air, with Star Sports 1Kannada as its substitute. 16 November 2017 had been fixed as the launch date.

However, the broadcaster was unable to get the necessary approvals from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). 

Star India even launched a promo campaign to support Star Sports 1 Kannada. However, their plans to secure an exclusive sports channel for its Kannada viewers didn’t see the light of day during the Indian Premier League 2018. The Kannada feed was aired on Star Suvarna Plus and the channel launch was put on hold due to regulatory hurdles.

In a public notice dated 26 October 2017, Star India informed viewers that Channel V would continue to remain available in its current form across all addressable platforms (DAS, DTH, IPTV, HITS).

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, adding that the launch was still in its planning stage.

Star India’s sports bouquet will now boast of 13 channels - Star Sports 1, 2 and their HD versions, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports Select 1, 2 and their HD versions, Star Sports First, the only FTA channel and soon to be re-launched Star Sports 3.  

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