⚠Starting January 5, Star India’s channels will not be available on cable TV in the US. ⚠ Don’t let your friends and family miss out on updates from their favourite shows like #KasautiiZindagiiKay, #KoffeeWithKaran, #YehRishtaKyaKehlataHai, and many more. Spread the word!(1/2) pic.twitter.com/bHnqF12Dtw— Hotstar US (@Hotstarusa) December 14, 2018
Star India will "adopt a digital-only approach" in the U.S. market, according to Dattaraj Thaly of INDIAN TELEVISION. Starting Jan. 5, Star India's TV channels will be streaming only on Hotstar in the U.S. The entire Star India network, including Star Plus, Star Gold, Star Vijay, Maa, Asianet and Movies OK, will "no longer be available on any cable TV provider" in the U.S. including Dish TV, Sling TV, Comcast and Verizon. While Star is the first major Indian broadcaster to go this route, "others will eventually follow suit," an industry expert said on the condition of anonymity, adding that the decision makes "complete sense" given the current dynamics of the U.S. market. The phenomenon of cord-cutting which stemmed from the U.S. "accelerated rapidly this year." According to a report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 1.2 million people migrated from traditional cable TV in the third quarter. Star's decision "could deliver a huge boost" to its int'l OTT arm by driving up its subscription numbers. Earlier this year, a study predicted that the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. would "climb" to 33 million adults in '18. A Hotstar Int'l spokesperson said, "However, while we have gone ahead with a digital-only approach in the U.S., in other markets, we believe that the powerful combination of linear TV and digital streaming provides a robust entertainment experience to consumers" (INDIAN TELEVISION, 12/15).