Star wins pay TV Licence in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD- Star TV, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire, said it has won a licence to provide ‘pay television service in Pakistan.
While the pan-Asian satellite broadcaster’s channels had already been carried on cable systems in the country, the government had not previously licenced pay TV carriers. The licence, Star TV said, is the first awarded by Pakistan authorities.
Hong Kong-based Star TV is among the News Corp satellite properties to be wrapped into Star wins par TV licence Sky Global Networks and offered in an initial public offering by early 2001. Now Star is able to distribute its full bouquet of pay TV services to viewers in Pakistan.
Commenting on the announcement, James Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Star said, “We are extremely delighted with the grant of the licence, which provides us with a unique opportunity to meet the burgeoning demand for pay TV services in Pakistan. We applaud a licensing regime in which pay TV industry can flourish and viewers’ interest can be safeguarded.”
Murdoch further added, “The selection of Star as the first pay TV licencee in Pakistan is a recognition justifiably reaffirming Star’s leading position in the pay TV arena in the region. We are pleased that our commitment to producing resonant and innovative programming has won the support from viewers at large and regulatory bodies in general.”
At present, Pakistan has about 8,000 cable operators across 49 cities, with over 1.5 million cable TV households in the country. The issuance of pay TV licence to Star enables cable operators in Pakistan to redistribute Star TV channels legally. It also provides the viewer with the opportunity to enjoy an unprecedented array of Star distributed channels which include Star World, Star Plus, Star Movies, Star Sports, ESPN, Star Gold, Channel [V], Channel [V] International, National Geographic Channel, CNBC Asia, Granada UK TV: Sky News and Fox News.
Star, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation, is Asia’s leading multi-platform content and service provider Star’s 30 distributed services, in seven languages, reach more than’ 300 million viewers across 53 Asian countries. Star will become a subsidiary of Sky Global Networks, the world’s leading distributor of pay television via satellite through its owned and affiliated platforms, before Sky Global Networks’ anticipated initial public offering.
Star TV channels include Star Chinese Channel, Phoenix Chinese Channel, Star Plus, Star World, Channel [V], ESPN, Star Sports, Star Movies, Star GOLD, Phoenix Movies, VIVA Cinema, Star News, in addition to distributed channels Fox News, Sky News and National Geographic Channel Star has also invested in cable systems such as Hathway in India, and Internet portals and services companies, including netease.com, renren.corn. Indya.com.
Source: Business Recorder