STAR expands its offerings to Comcast customers in San Francisco Bay Area

In a bid to enhance its reach Star, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation, has announced the launch of four additional South Asian channels on Comcast's California Bay Area cable platform.

The four channels, Star One (Hindi entertainment), Star India News (Hindi News), Star India Gold (Bollywood films) and Vijay (Tamil Entertainment) complement Star India PLUS (India's leading Hindi general entertainment channel), which has been available on the platform since December 2008.

The launch represents the first time that a South Asian news channel has ever been carried by a US cable platform. Vijay, Star's Tamil entertainment channel will also be the first Tamil language channel to be launched on US cable.

David Wisnia, STAR's senior vice president of distribution, sales and marketing and head of STAR's North American and European offices said, ''The launch of these four channels reflects a number of firsts in the industry and represents the fact that STAR now has the most South Asian channels of any one broadcaster on a cable platform.

We look forward to strengthening our relationship with operators across North America and stand firm in our commitment to connect Asian viewers with relevant, compelling and top rated content."

''STAR India networks are part of Comcast's on-going commitment to our customers to bring value by connecting them to the people, places and programming that are important in their lives," said Natalie Rouse, director of National Ethnic Marketing for Comcast. "By expanding our already diverse programming, the South Asian community will have many favourite programs available 24-hours-a-day, only on Comcast."

The new programming was made available to residential homes from 10 August in the following cities: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Cupertino, Fairfax, Forest Knolls, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Lagunitas, Larkspur, Los Altos, Marin, Mill Valley, Milpitas, Mountain View, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Geronimo, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sausalito, Sunnyvale, Tiburon and Woodacre.

Star broadcasts over 60 television services in 13 languages to more than 300 million viewers across 53 Asian countries.