Cape Town – StarSat is losing both the Star Plus (StarSat 560) and Star Vijay (StarSat 565) channels at the end of the month but is replacing the two TV channels that are jumping to competitor DStv with the new Sony SAB channel from 1 December.
The Star Plus and Star Vijay channels from 21st Century Fox's STAR India network is becoming part of MultiChoice's newly restructured DStv Indian package from December.
These two channels are being pulled from StarTimes' StarSat Indian package of R99 per month due to a deal that the channel supplier did with MultiChoice to put the two channels on the DStv platform exclusively.
Sony SAB is the first channel from the Sony Entertainment network of TV channels that will be available on StarSat.
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) already runs the Sony Channel and Sony MAX channels on DStv in South Africa.
StarSat will add Sony SAB, supplied by Sony MSM Network (MSM Asia) on StarSat channel 554 from 1 December.
StarSat says it will be advising its pay-TV subscribers of the channels coming off the platform shortly and that StarSat subscribers will get at least 7 days notice.
While Star Plus and Star Vijay are removed and replaced with Sony SAB, meaning that StarSat is one channel short, StarSat tells Channel24 that it will soon be announcing other new Indian channels.
Besides StarSat's satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa, Sony SAB will also be added to the bigger StarTimes platform across Africa from December on its satellite and digital terrestrial television (DTT) services.
Indian family comedy channel
Sony SAB is an Indian family comedy channel broadcasting general entertainment and programming includes programming like Taarak Mehta KaOoltahChashmah, as well as shows like Balveer, ChidiyaGhar, Comedy Superstar and the just launched, Police Factory.
Sony SAB's brand message is "Asli Mazaa SAB Ke Saath Hai", meaning "True Fun Comes from SAB/Being with everyone".
"We are delighted to add this channel to StarSat as it supports our focus of providing a variety of programming that meets our subscribers’ diverse viewing requirements," says Ian Woodrow, the head of content at StarSat. "We believe Sony SAB is going to become a huge favourite with our subscribers".
Continuing with our network ethos to always offering the best variety of entertainment to our viewers world-wide, we are excited to be able to launch the ever popular Sony SAB with StarTimes across the African continent," says Neeraj Arora, the executive vice president and head of international business for Sony MSM Network.
"This is an extremely important territory for us and I'm sure the South Asian diaspora will thoroughly enjoy the light-hearted, family-led experience that Sony SAB provides".
"StarTimes always sticks to the rule that content is the king," says Michael Dearham, StarTimes South Africa CEO.
"In addition to establishing self-owned channels such as Hausa channel and Swahili channel, we are also trying to bring a lot of international channels to Africa."
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