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DirecTV beams up 4 Indian channels

Satcaster to air Star Plus, Star One, Star News, Vijay

HONG KONG — DirecTV is expanding its international programming with four Indian channels from News Corp.’s Star Group.

The U.S. digital TV service provider will air Star Plus, Star One, Star News and Vijay through local feeds from Star, Asia’s leading multiplatform content and service provider.

Star Plus, which shows Hindi-lingo entertainment and drama, has been the No. 1 cable channel in India for the past four years, with 50 million viewers a week.

Star One is a Hindi entertainment channel launched earlier this month that airs action/thrillers, comedies and dramas, among other types of programs.

Star News is a 24-hour Hindi channel that reaches 20 million homes in Asia. Vijay is an entertainment channel that’s broadcast in Tamil and reaches 8 million homes in Asia.

The multiyear agreement marks the first of many international channels DirecTV plans to roll out, said Mitchell Stern, president and chief exec of the digital TV service provider, which has 13.5 million customers.

DirecTV also will broadcast international cricket matches on CricketTicket.

Licensing agreements were reached with the Australian Cricket Board, the United Cricket Board of South Africa, the New Zealand Cricket Board and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

CricketTicket will broadcast matches from those respective countries for the next four years.

DirecTV is 34% owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is majority owned by News Corp.

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