Dec 26, 2008

Entertainment - Star to launch Farsi GEC

STAR is planning to launch a free to air Farsi general entertainment channel (GEC) for viewers in West Asia. The yet to be named channel is scheduled for launch in early 2009.

In an email interview, Jannie Poon, senior vice-president, corporate affairs and communications, STAR, says, "We are still working on the channel name and programming details. But our content strategy is to provide quality and compelling general entertainment programming from around the world to the more than 100 million strong Farsi speaking community in the region."

Currently, the group does not plan to launch this channel in India. STAR will set up the sales and marketing office of its Farsi channel in Dubai. The group has been using Dubai Media City as the base for its West Asia operations since 1994.

In an official statement, Paul Aiello, chief executive officer of STAR, says, "STAR currently broadcasts in more than 10 languages across Asia. With the addition of a dedicated Farsi GEC, we will expand our existing portfolio of channel offerings, allowing us to enhance the television viewing experience of audiences that speak the language."

For the record, STAR broadcasts more than 60 television services in 10 languages to viewers across 53 Asian countries. The genres of these channels include general entertainment (STAR Plus, Xing Kong, STAR Chinese Channel, STAR One, STAR Utsav, STAR Jalsha, STAR Pravah, STAR World, Vijay, antv, and Phoenix Chinese Channel), sports (ESPN, STAR Sports, and STAR Cricket), movies (STAR Chinese Movies, STAR Chinese Movies 2, STAR Gold, and STAR Movies), music (Channel V), and news and current affairs (STAR News, STAR Ananda, STAR Majha, and Phoenix InfoNews).

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