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Star TV was a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and Li Ka-Shing and was established to launch such a service. Li Ka-Shing's son, Richard, was CEO. It was launched in 1991. In early 90s, Star India included Star Plus (then an English-language entertainment channel), Prime Sports (later became Star Sports), Mtv (through a tie up with Viacom), Star Movies and Zee TV (belonging to Subhash Chandra). Star TV was beamed out of Asiasat satellite.
In 1993, Rupert Murdoch brought a 64 percent stake in Star TV for $525 million. Star was originally broadcasting content from Rupert Murdoch's Fox Broadcasting and thus a synergy was envisioned. In 1995, Zee TV and Star signed an agreement to promote each other's content on their respective networks. Thus ads for Star programs began to appear on Zee and vice versa. This agreement was however short-lived as Star's English-language entertainment channel Star Plus started broadcasting Hindi content. By 1997, Star Plus became a 100% Hindi-language entertainment channel and Star TV launched Star World a separate channel that broadcast content formerly shown by Star Plus.
In 1993 News Corporation purchased 63.6% of STAR for over $500 million, followed by the purchase of the remaining 36.4% in 1 January 1993. Murdoch declared that:
"(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"
In the years after Murdoch purchased Star, an agreement with Subhash Chandra prohibited Star from creating Hindi-language programming, so Star relied mainly on English-language imported programming. Star was third in Indian market share (3%) behind Zee TV (12%) and Sony (11%). For four years until 1999, Star had losses of nearly US$500 million. Consequently, Murdoch revamped Star management; programming chief Sameer Nair decided to start creating Hindi-language programming to target "mass instead of class."
STAR India also manages News Corporation's interests in seven ventures including DTH operator Tata Sky; cable system Hathway, channel distributor Media Pro Enterprise, south Indian broadcast business of STAR Vijay, the film producor and distributor Fox Star Studios India and STAR CJ Alive Home Shopping.
STAR India entered into High Definition broadcasting on 15 April 2011 with the launch of the HD versions of its channels, including Star Plus HD, Star Movies HD, Star World HD, Star Gold HD and National Geographic Channel India HD.
Star CJ Alive is an Indian television shopping channel which was started between Star India and CJ Group of South Korea in 2009. It is a 24/7 shopping channel which in its starting stage used STAR Utsav for hosting the television marketing programs in six-hour slots. In its initial years, the programs were aired in Hindi, the language of India. Star CJ Alive and depends mainly on infomercials. On 14 November 2012 Star CJ Alive appointed Kenny Shin as CEO for India.
STAR sports group has planned to build a national sports network in India. The plan includes broadcasting in Indian languages. Starting from regional language Hindi to expansion for South Indian languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. ESPN was renamed STAR Sports 4, STAR Cricket was renamed Star Sports 3, Star Sports was renamed to STAR Sports 1 and STAR Sports 2 kept its name. Star Cricket HD and ESPN HD will be renamed STAR Sports HD1 and STAR Sports HD2 respectively. STAR Sports 3 will be predominantly a Hindi-only channel. STAR plans to start with cricket, field hockey and football (soccer) initially. Domestic cricket of India like Deodhar Trophy and Ranji Trophy are considered. Besides this two non-professional leagues like the University Cricket and University Field Hockey are also panned to be launched by STAR. In football, Barclays Premier League is also considered for regional broadcasting by STAR.