Star to re-launch pay-TV in Taiwan bow

Star TV will re-launch its pay-TV service on May 1 when the Star Movies channel is unveiled for Taiwanese audiences.

Star Movies will be a mix of Asian movies culled from sources that include the Golden Harvest and Golden Princess libraries and the libraries of Star’s affiliates, 20th Century Fox and Fox Television Network.

The new focus on Taiwan comes after Star’s four-channel pay service failed to obtain Hong Kong distribution via Wharf cable and was abandoned.

Star TV chief Gary Davey said the service had been introduced in response to market demand.

“Our research into viewers’ preferences and feedback from cable operators point to the need for a mixed Mandarin- and English-language movie channel for Asia.”

In the first few months, Davey said screenings would include a Chow Yun Fatt retrospective including “Once a Thief,””Diary of a Big Man,””All About Ah Long” and “City War,” a Jackie Chan series, plus movies from Ringo Lam and Joey Wong.

Star Movies’ Asian content would be predominantly of Hong Kong origin, because, Davey explained, “the territory has long been the center of Chinese film production and its action thrillers, kung fu classics, comedies and fantasy dramas have captured the imagination of millions around the world.”

Western fare initally slated includes “Home Alone,””Commando Alien,””The Abyss” and “Grand Canyon.”

Pix will have Chinese subtitles.

As well, English-language films will have a Chinese soundtrack available in addition to the orginal and Chinese-language films will have English subtitles.

A preview of the new service will run free to air from April 20 as a promotional support of cable operators who will decode and deliver the service to subscribers.

The northern transponder, which will be vacated by the BBC World Service next month, will beam to 21 countries.

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