In a surprising move, STAR Plus has been announced as the official broadcaster of the upcoming IIFA film awards.

The news comes as a huge blow to Sony Entertainment Television Asia who has been screening the big ceremony for the past five years running since its initiation.

A press conference was held earlier this week in Amsterdam detailing this year’s event. At the press conference, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Brand ambassador of IIFA and BBC?s Superstar of the Millennium said, ?The IIFA Awards have marked the beginning of a new era for recognizing and applauding the achievements of Indian Cinema. Regarded as one of the most credible award processes in India and abroad, I am proud to be associated with IIFA for the past six years and my commitment remains undiluted. I am looking forward to the celebrations in Amsterdam this year.?

Launched five years ago at the Millennium Dome, London, the IIFA Awards has evolved from an awards presentation ceremony to a three-day extravaganza dedicated to the world of cinema ? the IIFA Weekend. This event showcases the cr?me de la cr?me of Indian cinema and provides a platform for the Indian film fraternity to interact with global fans and media. The IIFA Awards is the grandest tribute paid to the world?s largest film industry and has attracted the stalwarts of both Indian and international cinema over the years, including Mira Nair, Shah Rukh Khan, Shekhar Kapur, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, Jackie Chan, Bo Derek, Thora Birch and Miranda Richardson.

The IIFA Awards 2005 will be broadcast live and exclusive across the globe via STAR Plus, Asia?s preferred general Hindi entertainment channel at primetime on 11th June 2005. Speaking at the press conference Mr. Deepak Sehgal, Executive Vice President, Content and Communication, Star India Pvt. Ltd said, ?It is fitting that IIFA, which celebrates the emergence of Indian cinema on a global platform is partnering with the STAR Network. Millions of viewers across India, USA, UK and Asia choose STAR to be the preferred choice of entertainment. We are proud to associate with IIFA and will work together to make this year?s event the most memorable celebration for Indian cinema for all our viewers.?