Has India’s oldest English entertainment channel succumbed to over-regulation?

Regulatory amendments from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have been blamed for the shrinking fortunes of English entertainment channels. The double whammy of Covid-19 which made advertiser revenue go for a free fall might have dealt the death blow.

After niche channels AXN, AXN HD and FYI TV18 announced that they would cease operations, media reports speculate that Star World, India’s oldest English entertainment channel, among other niche channels in Disney-Star India’s bouquet will cease operations.

While an email query to Anuradha Aggarwal, Head of English, Infotainment and Kids Cluster at Disney-Star remains unanswered, however, industry insiders say that there have been massive layoffs in the Star World team. No official spokesperson was available for comment but sources claim that the channel continues to be operational for the foreseeable future.

Ever since video consumption saw a boom, thanks to the Jio revolution, English entertainment channels have been under pressure from competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. High quality English content was available on demand to a customer that was more than capable of buying a premium subscription. These channels had be hemorrhaging viewers to OTT platform for years before NTO 2.0 and Covid-19 fast forwarded their impending deaths.


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