In a country with 340 television channels — 60 were launched this year alone — Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch announced the launch of another six.
Backed by an investment of Rs 420 crore ($100 million) in the next 24 months, Murdoch’s News Corp-owned Star TV is all set to expand its bouquet of regional channels.
"We’ll invest $100 million in India in the next 12 months to set up six regional channels under the Star brand," said the chairman of Newscorp, the multi-billion dollar media conglomerate based in New York.
In Mumbai to launch the 30 Dow Jones India Titans 30 Index, which would help launch exchange-traded funds linked to the stock market, the 77-year-old magnate has a media empire with interests in television, film, pay TV, the Net, newspapers, and publishing. According to Forbes, Murdoch’s individual Net Worth stands at $8.3 billion.
Viewership measurement agency, TAM Media Research says the relative share of southern regional channels for the week July 20-July 26 stood at 18.7 per cent, in comparison to 23.2 per cent occupied by Hindi general entertainment channels.
Star already has channels in Tamil , Bengali and Marathi, along with 11 other channels.
"Regional television is the future. Over a long-term period, it is a very good bet,” said Shashi Sinha, CEO, of media agency Lodestar Universal.