Fox Life rebranding to Star Life on 13 April 2024

The rebrand comes as Disney is eliminating the Fox brand from TV channels worldwide, but the logo looks very different from Disney’s other Star-branded channels in India and globally.

Avatar of Soham Bhadra

By Soham Bhadra

7 minutes read


Share article:

Follow us

After The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of the then-21st Century Fox (including Star India, now Disney Star) in March 2019 — which has crossed the five-year mark — it set out to eliminate the Fox brand worldwide, replacing it with Star, FX or other brands. The latest example involves an Indian channel: Fox Life, Disney Star’s lifestyle, travel and food channel, which is set to rebrand to Star Life on 13 April 2024 (Saturday) with a new logo and look. The Disney Star website has issued a notice stating that the channel’s SD and HD feeds will be renamed, and its mentions in existing RIO (Reference Interconnect Offer) agreements with TV platforms should now be interpreted using the new name.

This comes after a trademark registration for a new logo with the Star Life name was filed in late 2023 with the Indian government’s Intellectual Property Office. This is the umpteenth time the channel has changed its name — with previous names including The History Channel, Fox History & Entertainment and Fox Traveller, as discussed later below — making it one of India’s most-renamed channels, along with the Hindi news channel Zee Bharat, which had many names before and rebranded from Zee Hindustan on 22 January.

This is the latest of several such rebrands across the world in the past two months (February–March 2024) alone, as several channels named Fox have switched to new names, both Star Channel — as seen in Spain and Portugal — and other names like Dlife in Japan and Now in Turkey. Many Fox Life-branded channels, too, have rebranded to Star Life in 2023–24, including in Portugal, the Balkan countries and the Middle East.

However, they use the common logo scheme of Star Channel that was introduced starting in 2021 in many non-Indian countries, and the Indian Star Life will use a different logo altogether — drastically different from any other logo that Star channels have ever used. (Note that there is an unrelated channel called Star Life in South Africa — where there is a large Indian community — and other sub-Saharan African countries, which was launched in 2018 and airs Hindi serials from Star Plus and Star Bharat with English subtitles.)

The Fox brand finally bowed out from India after a decade and a half

The history of the Indian Fox Life is a highly varied one, as it has undergone among the most renamings of any Indian TV channel. Originally launched by Star on 30 November 2003 as The History Channel to complement National Geographic Channel, it rebranded to Fox History & Entertainment on 22 November 2008, positioned as a history, cultural and documentary channel. This brought the Fox brand to Indian screens for the first time, and it was a highbrow, intellectual channel with thought-provoking programmes, until completely changing direction nearly three years later towards millennial-focused travel.

In 2011 alone — as it transitioned to a lifestyle and travel channel targeting intrepid urban youth — it changed its logo three times: in May it was renamed to Fox History & Traveller, then enlarged the word ‘Traveller’ in its logo in July, and on 30 October 2011 it abandoned ‘History’ from its name altogether and became Fox Traveller. (Also in October 2011, the History brand was reintroduced in India in the form of History TV18 — a partnership between TV18, later acquired by Reliance Industries, and A+E Networks [but not involving Viacom18] — which lasts to the present day.) An HD feed was launched in 2012, initially exclusive to Dish TV before other DTHs added it starting in 2016.

Product placement for Fox Traveller featured extensively in the 2013 romantic drama Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, as part of its urban, youth-focused nature and programming lineup. The channel underwent yet another renaming on 15 June 2014, when it adopted its present name of Fox Life with a purple and orange graphics package. Its latest graphics change took place on 26 February 2018 — adapted from the now-defunct Southeast Asian version of Fox Life (which replaced Star World there in 2017, and shut down in 2021 along with many other Disney channels) — and this has so far been running for over six years now.

Fox Life Brand and Logo History

Since July 2017, Fox Life has been the only Fox-branded channel left in India after the closure of the English entertainment channel FX in both SD and HD versions. FX was launched in SD in 2010 and in HD in 2015, complementing Star World and Star World Premiere HD as Star’s English GECs. (The Star World channels closed down in March 2023, along with the launches and shutdowns of several other Disney Star channels.) Before then, there were some other Fox-branded channels in India, namely Fox Crime (English GEC, 2010–2015) and Fox Action Movies (English movies, 2012–2013), which was renamed to Star Movies Action in 2013 and shut down along with FX in 2017. Now India will become the latest country to abandon the Fox brand after similar rebrandings worldwide.

The new Star Life logo is a departure from the typical format used since 2010

Especially noteworthy is the fact that the new Star Life logo has a very different structure compared to other Star-branded channels not only in India but worldwide. The iconic Star symbol is placed to the left of the new ‘StarLife’ wordmark so that the logo fits in a horizontal line, like the existing Fox Life logo. This is nothing like Disney’s other Star-branded channels globally, both the ones using the Indian logo structure and otherwise, as the below image explains.

Star Life’s new logo is in great contrast to almost all other Star-branded Indian channels today, consisting of a colourful Star symbol and the name of the channel below. This format was introduced by Star Plus in its ‘Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi’ rebrand in 2010 — replacing the previous structure used throughout the 2000s, with the logo in a rounded rectangle — and extended to almost all other Indian Star channels. (The only exceptions are the Star Movies-branded and the now-defunct Star World-branded channels, but even Star Movies and Star Movies Select have filed a new logo trademark like Star Life, representing their first rebrand in many years — a whopping 15-year gap for Star Movies, which last rebranded in 2009!)

The new Star Life logo is also drastically different from the logo structure used by Disney’s non-Indian Star-branded channels in many other countries since 2021, with a big ‘STAR’ wordmark above (with the Star symbol taking the place of the letter A) and the name of the channel below. This structure is not used for any Indian Star channels, or for that matter Star-branded channels in foreign countries with Indian content, such as the unrelated Star Life in South Africa. Moreover, most recently in the Middle East, channels named Star Life and Star Movies (unrelated to the Indian ones) have introduced this structure as well.

Star Life India and International Logos

Star renews commitment towards its niche channels as it approaches the mega-merger with Viacom18

It is clear that Star Life’s new logo is nothing like what has been seen on Indian TV before, and this is a signifier that the channel will go for a completely refreshed positioning and programming lineup, which in recent years has been dominated more by foreign travel, food and lifestyle programming than Indian shows. This is similar to competitor TLC from Warner Bros. Discovery, and in contrast to Indian-owned channels like Zee Zest, Goodtimes (from NDTV; formerly called NDTV Good Times) and Food Food which have completely Indian-produced content — though Travelxp, another Indian-owned lifestyle channel, serves a global audience with its 4K HDR feed and diverse content.

On a similar note, Star’s English movie channels Star Movies and Star Movies Select are also expected to take the wraps off their new logos and brandings in due course, which have already been leaked in the form of trademark registrations. Once information on their long-overdue rebranding is revealed, they will receive a desperately needed facelift for the first time since 2009 for Star Movies, or 2015 for Star Movies Select which was launched in HD that year (the SD feed was launched only in 2023). (Star Movies-branded channels in other regions like the Middle East have received new looks and logos, so the wait for the Indian Star Movies channels has felt even longer.)

In the face of the upcoming mega-merger between Disney Star and Reliance’s Viacom18 — which was confirmed at the end of February (a month after the other hyped merger between Zee and Sony collapsed) — the rebrand of Star Life is a renewed commitment from Star towards its niche offerings, despite shutting down other English urban niche channels like the Star World channels. The Star Movies channels will be the first Reliance-owned English movie channels once the merger between Viacom18 and Star is completed, since Viacom18 has never had any, in contrast to its successful English GECs.

Star Life, Nat Geo and Nat Geo Wild will complement Viacom18’s niche channels like Comedy Central, Colors Infinity, Vh1 and MTV (not counting History TV18) in the newly merged entity. Unlike Star, Reliance has strongly supported its niche channels for a long time, with FYI TV18 being the only one to be axed in 2020. With these rebrandings, Star Life and other niche channels from both Star and Viacom18 will hopefully have a long run — though only time will tell — in the years to come.

Share article:

Follow us
Avatar of Soham Bhadra

Soham Bhadra

Television Analyst

82 articles published
Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, actively interested in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes articles and shares his insights on the Indian TV industry and DTH operators. He has a passion for words and reflects that through his articles.

Related articles

Visit our forums

Join the discussions with thousands of active members who share the same interests as you and learn something new…

Forum replies (50)Comments (0)

Loading new replies...

Leave a Comment