Star TV targets regional growth

News Corpís Star TV expects about half of its profits to come from its networks in Indiaís non-Hindi speaking states in the next "couple of years" as the groupís most important Asian unit digs deeper into regional markets in search of growth.

Uday Shankar, chief executive officer of Star India, the countryís biggest pay television broadcaster, said while the Hindi entertainment
sector and its Bollywood film industry were better known outside India, programmes in Tamil, Bengali and other regional languages were becoming popular.

Culturally India is a federation of states," said Shankar in an interview. "As TV becomes a part of peopleís lives they have started demanding their content in a language they are most comfortable with." Starís push into regional television comes as Indiaís primetime Hindi language market is becoming saturated with new channels, including those from joint ventures backed by Disney, Viacom, Sony and Turner.