Star India on Monday announced that it is pushing back the launch of five channels including Disney Channel HD, Star Sports 3 HD, Vijay Music, Star Movies Select and Star Gold 2 HD. The company initially announced these channels on January 1 in its modified Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO). The majority of the channels in the group were said to be launched on February 1 while Disney Channel HD was scheduled to be launched on March 1. However, the company in its notice to the DPOs announced that the launch of five channels has been pushed back with the company providing no official date for the launch.
Star India Had Soft Launched Five Channels Potentially For Testing
While Star India provided no official reason for the deferred launch of the five channels, it has to be noted the company had a soft launch of the channels potentially for testing purposes. Various viewers across India have spotted the channels like Vijay Music, Star Gold 2 HD on their network.
According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings for the week ending April 3, Star Gold was the eighth most watched channel in India across all genres. The Star Gold 2 standard definition channel was in the top five on the Hindi Movie genre. Similarly, Discovery Channel was the second most watched channel in the Infotainment category during the same period.
Further, the modified RIO had indicated that Star India would be shutting down three channels including Star World Premiere HD and the Telugu and Tamil version of National Geographic channels. It is not clear if the company would defer the shut down of these three channels which were intended to make way for the five new channels.
Star India Offers Interim Extension to DPOs
In a separate order issued on Monday, Star India announced that it is extending the subscription license agreement of those DPOs whose arrangement expired on March 31 to April 30. The company said that the extension would also be applicable to those DPOs yet to sign a new subscription agreement to April 30. Star India said that the extension is being provided as an “interim measure.”