In a historic move for Indian television in the US market, Star TV will reportedly shutdown its linear business to focus primarily on its digital OTT business, Hotstar.
Sources have informed BizAsiaLive.com that Star TV will be begin closing down its television business within the next few weeks. This will be a first for a giant Indian television broadcaster to pull out of an international TV market completely.
Star TV has been restructuring its international operations by boosting the presence of Hotstar in USA and UK. It is hoping that viewers who want to continue watching Star TV programmes in the US, will do so by subscribing to Hotstar. Rumours about Star TV closing its US operations have been doing the rounds for over a year.
At the time of filing this article, BizAsiaLive.com was awaiting a response from Star International about the developments. However, digital platform, Dish confirmed the news with several tweets to a viewer. It said, “Effective January 4, Star has decided to no longer make their programming available on DISH. We hope that they decide to continue with us. We are always looking to expand our content and hope to have other channels similar to Star Plus. -JI”
It added, “We are looking to have additional streaming channels you can enjoy more international channels soon! Stay tuned for updates! -JI”
With digital platforms becoming a lot more accessible, it will come as no surprise if other broadcasters follow Star TV USA. It is already reported that a couple of UK Asian TV broadcasters are considering moving underperforming channels to digital-only, saving them thousands of pounds on the huge amounts being paid to run linear services.