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What’s in the Stars for FOXA’s STAR India Network?

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21st Century Fox’s STAR India network

21st Century Fox’s (FOXA) Star India is the largest media network in India (EPI). The network broadcasts and produces programming for 51 channels in seven languages.

Star India aims to achieve a profit of $0.5 billion in fiscal 2018 and $1 billion in fiscal 2020. 21st Century Fox aims to achieve this target through the growth of its market share in the Indian entertainment market, which currently stands at 23%.

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21st Century Fox also stated on its fiscal 3Q17 earnings call that it had put the financial impact of demonetization in India behind it, and the network’s viewership was continuing to increase in India, including on its OTT (over-the-top) platform, hotstar. In November 2016, the Indian government announced that the 500 Indian rupee and the 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal currencies. This initiative was announced to curb the circulation of black money in the financial system.

Demonetization negatively affected Star India’s revenue by $20 million in fiscal 3Q17.

In fiscal 3Q17, advertising revenue at Star India fell 18% year-over-year, mainly due to demonetization and the absence of its previous year’s broadcast of the ICC’s (International Cricket Council) cricket tournaments.

About hotstar

Star India’s OTT platform, hotstar, has proved to be a big success in India. In fiscal 3Q17, hotstar’s viewing minutes rose a whopping 220% year-over-year, making the platform’s viewing time about 14 times higher than Netflix’s (NFLX). At the end of 2016, hotstar had ~50 million monthly active users.

21st Century Fox still believes in the strength of its programming, especially its sports programming, at Star India. The company expects that the Indian television market will be worth $20 billion by 2020.

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