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Star TV’s ratings success demonstrates changing UK ethnic and media marketplace

Star TV is News Corporation’s biggest international TV business, broadcasting to India, China and the Middle East although its activities attract much less attention than other parts of the empire like Sky in the UK, Germany and Italy.

But the channel is also performing strongly in the UK, reflecting the large South Asian population in Britain and also their growing affluence.

Entertainment channel Star Plus is the number one Asian channel in the UK and among the most-watched among all UK pay-TV channels. Film channel Star Gold, home to Star’s large holding of Bollywood movies, often attracts higher ratings than any of the other pay-TV film channels.

The company’s recent broadcast of its own Star Parivaar Awards 2011, held in Macau and broadcast on April 3, helped Star Plus become the most- watched UK pay channel on that day and the 12th most-watched channel in peak time among all BARB rated channels in the UK, beating the likes of Sky 1, E4, Comedy Central, and Sky Movies Premiere.

The problem for all digital TV channels in the UK is persuading the media buying community that there is life and audiences outside terrestrial broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and pay-TV giant Sky.

These snaffle the lion’s share of the big media agencies’ TV budgets in negotiations held at the turn of each year. But the more successful rival operations, like Star and Dave (formerly UKTV and successfully rebranded under current Channel 4 boss and ex-agency man David Abraham) are becoming increasingly hard to overlook.

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