Star Plus goes for simulcast
Star Plus, the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) owned by News Corp’s Star India, is defying geographical boundaries by revising its show timings across the globe. Through the process of some innovative simulcasting, the channel has integrated the show timing of all its programmes aired across the globe.
Explains Sanjeet Saha, vice-president, international business, Star India, “The shows are telecast on the same day, same time in each geography. For instance, fiction show Saath Nibhana Saathiya, which airs at 7 pm in India also airs at 7 pm local time in Dubai, Johannesburg, London, New York and so on. The same is true for the rest of the shows. Today we live in an unified borderless world. Our attempt is to ensure global viewers can now sample their favourite Star Plus shows with English subtitles at the same time across boundaries - a radical departure from an era when viewers made do with time lag deferred content.”
Star Plus reaches over 400 million global viewers every week across India and over 65 countries across the globe.
Saha adds, “With the time lag eliminated, the rampant issue of piracy would also get addressed. Earlier people used to frequent different websites for latest episodic uploads.
Now they watch the same episode internationally same day same time as it airs in India. Through this move, we will also provide marketers and advertisers with the opportunity to promote their products globally on anunparalleled platform, to over 400 million global viewers.”
With real-time subtitling of content, the channel hopes to tap into a larger number of third and fourth generation Indians and South Asians for Star Plus, who may not speak or understand Hindi. Unlike India, the primary source of revenue overseas is subscription. Nearly 70% of the channel’s international revenue comes from subscription. The rest is advertising. “A scenario completely opposite to that of India,” says Saha. However, advertising revenue also plays a key role and on-air inventory of Star Plus is sold separately to international advertisers. “Selling on-air inventory separately to international advertisers across geographies helps us maximize our revenue potential. The trade reactions so far have been over whelming, in consonance with consumer feedback,” says Saha.
A senior media planner who did not want to be named says, “Advertisers, marketers and distributors understand that real time subtitling is a game changer, something that many broadcasters have been trying to do for long but weren’t successful so far. However, now that Star has finally made it happen, it will open up vistas and help the channel lap up more subscribers internationally. This will eventually help the channel increase its advertising potential.”
Meanwhile, Star Plus and Star India’s Hindi movie channel Star Gold have now been added to the entry level basic tier of Sky, which is one of the leading payTV operators in the UK. This will help the two channels reach nearly 10.3 million customers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The channels are expected to see a rise of over 3 million in their subscriber base due to the re-packaging of Sky’s basic bundles, representing a 48% rise in connected households.
Source: Financial Express