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Volume 7 No. 149


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).

Inter Milan launched an official channel on global video sharing platform TikTok. The club will share an array of videos including goal celebrations, archive footage, behind-the-scenes and dedicated messages from players. Inter Milan CEO Alessandro Antonello said, "After opening a Douyin account focusing on the Chinese market a few months ago, we are happy to now have an international presence on TikTok, a platform that caters to a very young audience" (SPORTZ BUSINESS, 12/15).

A Belfast-based sports tech firm will create at least 15 new jobs in '19. Established by former Ireland rugby int'l players Andrew Trimble and Gareth Quinn, Kairos is a multi-sport technology platform that enables professional sports clubs to streamline planning and optimize performance. Trimble said, "The concept for Kairos stems from a lot of personal frustrations and inefficiencies experienced in the world of professional team sport" (Kairos). 

The 2018 European Women’s Handball Championship final, won by host France over Russia (24-21), was watched by an average audience of 5.4 million viewers on TF1. The match drew a peak audience of 8.1 million and had a 29.4% market share (L’ÉQUIPE, 12/17).