Hot on the heels of the launch of its Marathi movie channel Pravah Picture this past Sunday (15 May 2022), Disney Star has officially taken the wraps off its Odia general entertainment channel Star Kiran — renamed from Star Kirano — which will now launch on Monday, 6 June 2022. The slight delay in the launch date (from 1 June) is a result of the renaming from Kirano to Kiran, which requires several formalities to be completed. The renaming took place due to backlash from social media users regarding the spelling Kirano, which does not reflect the proper Odia pronunciation.
At a fancy launch event in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, Star Kiran was officially unveiled along with its slogan, Eithu Arambha, Eithi Sambhaba (Here we begin, here it is possible) — and this represents a new beginning for India’s largest broadcaster in a number of ways. This is the seventh regional genre in which Disney Star will operate, and the first new regional market that the broadcaster will enter since the acquisition of the Telugu-language Maa channels in 2015. It is clear that Star Kiran is prepared to create a big impression from day one, with its line-up of both serials and movie premieres, and break new ground for a large but overlooked language — in addition to giving Odisha its first-ever HD channel.
Star Kiran’s lineup of serials has been revealed, along with movie premieres
We have covered how Star Kiran has been preparing for launch for weeks, with serials being shot since January. Now that the channel has been officially announced, we know further information about the serials that will be aired on it from Monday to Saturday. These are the four serials that will be aired on Star Kiran from 6 June, with more to follow in the coming months. Incidentally, many of them are remakes of Bengali serials that were originally aired on Star Jalsha, and later adapted to Disney Star’s other GECs such as Star Plus, Star Pravah, Asianet and Star Vijay — a formula that has proved very successful so far.
|Name||Star cast||Production company||Time slot||Remake of|
|Tu Kahibu Na Mu||Shreyan Kumar, Mitali Sarghariya||Akshay Kumar Parija Productions||7 pm||Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? (Star Plus); Bojhena Se Bojhena (Star Jalsha)|
|Suhaga Sindura||Sushree Sabita Palei, Jayjeet Das||D G Creation||7:30 pm||Ishti Kutum (Star Jalsha); Imlie (Star Plus)|
|Shanti||Naina Das||Akshay Kumar Parija Productions||8 pm||Sreemoyee (Star Jalsha); Anupamaa (Star Plus)|
|Kiye Para Kiye Apanara||Priyanka Kumari Rath, Srijit Mahapatra||Om Sai Production||8:30 pm||Ke Apon Ke Por (Star Jalsha); Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2 (Star Plus)|
Interestingly, when news first broke about the shooting of the channel’s serials, the tentative names of a couple of serials were Sata Sura Bandha E Jibana and Tulasi Ei Aganara, but these have now been changed closer to the launch date. In addition to the above serials, Star Kiran will have some non-fiction/reality shows to fill up other time slots, based on other successful reality shows of the Star network such as the Super Singer franchise. Auditions for these reality shows are expected to start in a few weeks.
Moreover, Star Kiran has also announced a lineup of Odia movie premieres, including Premam, Gupchup, Cuttack Weds Sambalpur, Dil Re Aachi Tore Na and Mahabahu. These will prove to be a major attraction for the channel and simultaneously provide much-needed exposure to the Ollywood movie industry, which has so far not been able to compete with the scale and budget of other regional movie industries.
Star Kiran will provide a major boost to the Odia TV industry, and launch it into the HD era
With this lineup of shows and movies and 360-degree promotions, Star Kiran is making its presence felt across the Odia TV industry. However, there is still a lot more ground to cover in its social media presence: at present, Star Kiran has only a Facebook page, while Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages will be set up in due course. This is quite unlike Pravah Picture, which has had a presence on all social media platforms since early April. Also, some glimpses of the graphics package — with its traditional Odia cultural elements — have been revealed, and it will be only a matter of time before the complete graphics package and theme music are revealed as they were for Pravah Picture.
There is also the equally important fact that Star Kiran HD will be the first-ever Odia HD channel. This gives it a major advantage over its competitors such as Tarang and Zee Sarthak, which do not have any concrete plans to launch an HD feed soon. Like several smaller Indian regional languages like Punjabi and Assamese, the Odia TV industry has suffered from not having an HD channel so far, so Star Kiran HD will finally bring it into the HD era after a long wait.
However, a crucial factor will be the addition of the HD feed across both DTH and cable platforms — an area where Pravah Picture has been lacking. Within a few days of launch, most Indian DTH operators have added the SD version of Pravah Picture (or are about to add it), but none have added the HD version yet, and Pravah Picture HD remains confined to some cable operators. One major reason could be that the new NTO 2.0 tariff rules are likely to come into effect from 1 June 2022, and TV platforms are waiting for further tariff changes to take place before adding HD channels like Pravah Picture HD and Star Kiran HD — as well as Sports18 1 HD, where Sun Direct has been the only DTH to add it.
Nevertheless, the launch of Star Kiran after many months of delay is a highly-anticipated and much-needed development not only for the Odia TV industry but the Indian TV industry as a whole. One can only hope that the other planned launches and shutdowns from Disney Star take place as soon as possible, as they too have been delayed for a long time.
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