Disney Star
FormerlyStar India (1990–2022)
IndustryMedia conglomerate
Founded1 August 1990; 32 years ago (1990-08-01)
Area served
Key people
  • Rebecca Campbell[a]
  • K. Madhavan[b]
  • Sanjay Jain[c]
RevenueIncrease120 billion (US$1.5 billion) (FY 2021)
Owner21st Century Fox (2013-2019) The Walt Disney Company (2019-Present)
ParentThe Walt Disney Company India

Disney Star is an Indian media conglomerate owned by The Walt Disney Company India wholly owned by The Walt Disney Company.[1] It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Disney Star runs more than 70 TV channels in eight languages, reaching out to 9 out of 10 cable and satellite TV homes in India.[2] The network reaches approximately 790 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 countries.[3] Disney Star generates more than 30,000 hours of content every year.[4] Disney Star is the largest television and entertainment network in India.



Star TV (Satellite Television Asian Region) was founded in 1990 as a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and Li Ka-Shing. It launched Hollywood English-language entertainment channels for Asian audiences.[5]


In 1990, Star TV started with the first 5 channels included Star Plus (then an English-language entertainment channel), Star Chinese Channel, Prime Sports, Channel V and BBC World Service Television.[5][6]

In 1992, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation purchased 63.6% of Star India for $525 million, followed by the purchase of the remaining 36.4% on 1 January 1993. Star broadcasting operations were run from Rupert Murdoch's Fox Broadcasting premises.[7][8] Murdoch declared that:[9]

(telecommunications) have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere ... satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels

Between 1994 and 1998, Star India was launched, later launched Star Movies, Channel V, and Star News with a limited Hindi offering, and then Star Plus for Indian viewers.[10][11][12]

In 1998, Star News was launched as a dedicated news channel with content from NDTV.[13]


In 2001, Star India acquired South India based Vijay TV.[14] In 2003, Star India's deal with NDTV ended and Star News was made into a 24-hour news channel. Disney bought it in 2009 for $2 Million or 2 Cnt venture (JV) with Anand Bazar Patrika Group to comply with the regulations set for uplinking of news and current affairs channels by the Government of India.[citation needed] It subsequently exited from this joint venture in 2012. After the split the channel was renamed ABP News and operated by Anandabazar Patrika Group.[13]

In 2004, Star One was launched as a Hindi content channel.[15] In 2008, Star Jalsha, a Bengali language entertainment channel and Star Pravah, a Marathi language entertainment channel were launched.[16][17]

In 2009, Star India acquired Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala based media conglomerate Asianet Communications which served Malayalam language content.[18] In August 2009, the Star Group restructured its Asian broadcast businesses into three units – Star India, Star China Media, and Fox International Channels Asia.[18]

In the same year, Star Affiliate and CJ Group of South Korea launched CJ Alive (later known as Shop CJ), a 24-hour Indian television shopping channel which used Star Utsav for hosting the television marketing programs in six-hour slots in its initial stage of launch. Star Affiliate exited the joint venture in May 2014.[19] This venture was called Star CJ.

News Corporation launched a film production and distribution business in India through Fox Star Studios India, an affiliate of Star India in the same year.[20]


In April 2012, Star won the rights to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) through 2018, replacing Nimbus Communications. Valued at 3,851 crore (equivalent to 62 billion or US$770 million in 2020), the agreement included rights to India national cricket team home matches on television and mobile streaming, as well as domestic tournaments such as the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup.[21]

On 6 November 2013, Star India rebranded its Star Sports channels, renaming the main Star Sports channel to Star Sports 1, Star Cricket to Hindi-language Star Sports 3, ESPN to Tamil-language Star Sports 4, and Star Cricket HD and ESPN HD to Star Sports HD1 and HD2.[22][23]

In February 2015, Star India launched its streaming service, Hotstar, a mobile and online entertainment OTT platform that features content in 9 Indian languages and broadcasts sporting events.[24][25] Star also acquired the broadcast businesses of Maa Television Pvt. Ltd to boost its presence in Telugu-speaking markets.[26]

In February 2017, Star India and global media conglomerate, TED, announced a new TV series, TED Talks India – Nayi Soch. Its programmes starred Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan and featured newer TED talks made in Hindi language. The programme followed the signature TED format of prominent speakers voicing their opinions in an 18-minute or less monologue in front of a live audience.[27][28]

On 28 August 2017, Star India replaced its Hindi Entertainment channel Life OK with a free-to-air channel Star Bharat.[29]

On 5 September 2017, Star India won the global media rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL) under a five-year deal beginning in the 2018 tournament, and valued at 163.475 billion. Beating previous rightsholder Sony, the contract included domestic rights for Star Sports, and digital rights for Hotstar.[30]

In 2018, Star India renewed its BCCI rights through March 2023, in a contract valued at 61,384.1 crore (equivalent to 700 billion or US$8.7 billion in 2020)[31]

On 14 December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which included Star India.[32]


On 13 December 2018, Disney announced Uday Shankar who serves as chairman of Star India would lead Disney's Asian operations and would become the new chairman of The Walt Disney Company India, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, being re-organized under The Walt Disney Company (India).[33] On 27 August 2018, the channel Star Life was launched in Africa in English language offering the English dubbed Indian Hindi series from the Indian star channels.[34][35]

On 4 January 2019, Star TV shut down its television operations in USA for the promotion of its digital counterpart, Hotstar.[36]

On 20 March 2019, Star India became a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India as the deal was closed. Now, Disney India owns UTV Software Communications and Star India TV channels.[citation needed]

In April 2020, Disney merged Hotstar with Disney+ in India forming Disney+ Hotstar with Hotstar operating independently and coexisting with Disney+ in Canada and US,[37] since it's launched on 4 September 2017; the United Kingdom on 13 September 2018;[38] and Singapore on 4 November 2020, prior to Disney+ in the country.[39]

On 30 December 2020, Disney announced that the Star branding would be replaced with Utsav from 1 February in the Netherlands,[40] with the Utsav Gold, Utsav Plus and Utsav Bharat branding launching in the UK on 22 January 2021, Star Vijay's international feed also changed a new logo based with Utsav Network in yellow colour and rebranded as Vijay TV around the world on that same day, Utsav Network would separated to Star Gold, Plus and Bharat, the Asian feed would launch in South Korea.[41]

On 31 August 2021, Disney announced that it would phase out Hotstar in the US and move all contents into Hulu and ESPN+. Initially, it was announced that the service would shut down in the US by late 2022,[42] until it got moved to an earlier date on 30 November 2021.[43]

On 18 October 2021, Disney and Star announced that they would exit from the English general entertainment industry and that they would close down Star World and Star World Premiere in India originally planned by 30 November 2021 (although the Star Movies channels, alongside Disney International HD will not be affected). The Bangla and Marathi feeds of Star Sports 1 will also close on the same day. Meanwhile, the Star Gold brand would expand with the launch of an HD simulcast of Star Gold 2 that would replace UTV HD, alongside the rebranding of UTV Movies and UTV Action as Star Gold Romance and Star Gold Thrills. Star Movies Select HD, Star Movies Hindi, Star Movies Tamil will also launch an SD simulcast, becoming the first niche premium English movie channel in India to do so.[44] However, a delay in TRAI's new tariff order, followed by protests from digital cable operators and multi-system operators, caused the plans to be postponed till mid-March 2023.[45]

2022 to present

On 14 April 2022, The Walt Disney Company India rebranded Star India to Disney Star.[46] On 27 May 2022, Fox Star Studios was renamed Star Studios, as part of the removal of the "Fox" name from the studios that had been acquired from 21st Century Fox by Disney. Disney Star launched Odia GEC Star Kiran on 6th June 2022.

Business results

In August 2012, Business Line of The Hindu group reported that Star CJ Alive is claiming average sale of products worth Rs. 9.5 million on week days and Rs. 12 million on weekends.[47] Approximately 65% of the sales come from electronics segment while household segment stands second in the race. In December 2012, some sections of the media reported that Rupert Murdoch run News Corp may exit Star CJ by selling its entire stake to Providence Equity Partners.[48] This share transfer reportedly ran into trouble when the Department of Revenue discovered that funds from other jurisdictions were being channelised to exploit Indo Mauritius double taxation avoidance agreement.[49]

Star India Entertainment provides 60 channels while Star India Sports provides 17 channels.


Owned channels

See also: List of Disney TV programming blocks § India

On air channels


Channel Launched Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Plus 1992 Hindi General Entertainment SD+HD
Star Bharat 2017 Formerly Star One and Life OK
Star Utsav 2004 SD
Star Utsav Movies 2016 Movies
Star Gold 1999 SD+HD
Star Gold 2 2020 Formerly Movies OK, UTV HD
Star Gold Select 2017
Star Gold Romance 2023 SD Formerly UTV Movies
Star Gold Thrills Formerly UTV Action
Bindass 2007 Music
Star Sports 1 Hindi 2017 Sports SD+HD
Star Sports First SD
Disney International HD English General Entertainment HD
Star Movies 1991 Movies SD+HD
Star Movies Select 2015
Star Sports 1 1996 Sports
Star Sports 2 2013
Star Sports 3 2018 SD
Star Sports Select 1 2016 SD+HD
Star Sports Select 2
Hungama TV 2004 Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Kids SD
Disney Channel English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu SD+HD
Disney Junior 2012 SD
Super Hungama 2022 Formerly Toon Disney/ Jetix, Disney XD and Marvel HQ
National Geographic 1998 English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali Infotainment SD+HD
Nat Geo Wild 2009
Fox Life 2008 Lifestyle
Star Jalsha 2008 Bengali General Entertainment
Star Jalsha Movies 2012 Movies
Star Pravah 2008 Marathi General Entertainment
Star Pravah Picture 2022 Movies
Star Kiran Odia General Entertainment
Star Suvarna 2007 Kannada
Star Suvarna Plus 2013 Movies SD
Star Sports 1 Kannada 2018 Sports
Asianet 1993 Malayalam General Entertainment SD+HD
Asianet Plus 2005 SD
Asianet Movies 2012 Movies SD+HD
Star Vijay 1994 Tamil General Entertainment
Star Vijay Super 2016 Movies
Star Vijay Takkar 2022 Youth Entertainment SD Replaced Star Vijay Music
Star Sports 1 Tamil 2017 Sports SD+HD
Star Maa 2002 Telugu General Entertainment
Star Maa Movies 2011 Movies
Star Maa Gold 2012 SD
Star Maa Music 2008 Music
Star Sports 1 Telugu 2018 Sports SD+HD


Channel Launched Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Life 2018 English General Entertainment SD+HD Africa Only
Utsav Plus 2021 Hindi UK and EU Only
Utsav Bharat SD
Utsav Gold Movies SD+HD
Asianet Middle East 2010 Malayalam General Entertainment SD Middle East Only

Upcoming channels

Channel Launch Date Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Jalsha Josh TBA Bengali Youth


Star Utsav 2 Hindi
Star Sports 1 Kannada HD Kannada Sports HD
Star Sports HD 3 English
Hungama HD Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Kids

Dissolved channels

Channel Launched Defunct Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star One 2004 2011 Hindi General Entertainment SD Replaced by Life OK
Life OK 2011 2017 SD+HD Replaced by Star Bharat
Movies OK 2012 2020 Movies SD Replaced by Star Gold 2
UTV Movies 2008 2023 Replaced by Star Gold Romance
UTV Action 2010 Replaced by Star Gold Thrills
UTV HD 2018 HD Rebranded as Star Gold 2 HD
Channel V 1994 2018 Music SD Replaced by Star Sports 3
Star News 1998 2012 News Rebranded as ABP News
Star World 1991 2023 English General Entertainment SD+HD
FX 2010 2017
Fox Crime 2010 2015 SD
Star World Premiere 2011 2023 HD
Star Movies Action 2013 2017 Movies SD formerly Fox Action Movies
Baby TV 2005 2023 Kids SD+HD
ESPN 1995 2013 Sports Rebranded as Star Sports 4
Star Cricket 2007 Replaced by Star Sports 3 ,

Star Sports 1 Hindi

Star Sports 4 2013 2017 Rebranded as Star Sports 1 Tamil
Nat Geo Music 2007 2019 Hindi, English Music Replaced By Nat Geo Telugu
Nat Geo People 2014 Lifestyle Replaced By Nat Geo Tamil
Nat Geo Adventure 2007 2014 Infotainment Replaced with Nat Geo People
Star CJ Alive 2009 2019 Shopping SD replaced as Shop CJ Alive
Star CJ Alive 2 2011 2016 replaced as shop CJ Alive 2
Star Ananda 2005 2012 Bengali Sports Rebranded as ABP Ananda
Star Sports 1 Bangla 2019 2023 News
Star Sports 1 Marathi Marathi Sports
Star Majha 2007 2012 News Rebranded as ABP Majha
Star Vijay Music 2020 2022 Tamil Music Replaced by Star Vijay Takkar
Nat Geo Tamil 2019 2020 Infotainment
Nat Geo Telugu Telugu

See also


  1. ^ Chairman, International contents and operation, The Walt Disney Company -Oversees Disney units outside US
  2. ^ Country Manager & President, The Walt Disney Company India & Disney Star, Managing Director (MD) of Asianet
  3. ^ CFO, Direct-to-Consumer & International – APAC, The Walt Disney Company


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Further reading