MUMBAI: Star India has decided to pull the plug on its crime and investigative English entertainment channel Fox Crime. Effective 19 April, the signals of the channels, both analogue and digital, will be discontinued. Incidentally, Star India is in the process of launching a new premium English movie channel. But it is not clear till the filing of this report whether Fox Crime’s discontinuation is meant to make room for the new movie channel. Earlier, Star India had shut non-performing channels like Star One (Hindi general entertainment) and Fox Action Movies (English action movies) and replaced them with Life OK and Star Movies Action respectively. In a public notice, Star India said that it would discontinue all the technical and commercial distribution of Fox Crime. Star India officials were, however, unavailable for comments till the filing of this report. Launched by Fox International Channels (FIC) in 2010 in India, Fox Crime initially aired its Asia feed and was available only on some DTH and select cable platforms. It was replaced by Fox Crime India in September 2012, when Star India took over the operations and re-launched the channel. That was the first time when the company spent heavily on marketing and promotional activities for the channel. Over the years, the channel witnessed some growth in viewership. However, it did not grow as much as the company had anticipated. “At the re-launch in 2012, Star India had promoted the channel heavily. Ogilvy had come out with an innovative campaign for the channel and it was the only channel completely devoted to the crime and investigation genre in India. Since the English entertainment space has always remained focused on action and thriller, it was perceived that Fox Crime would have the first mover’s advantage,” a media buyer said. However, the genre did not grow much as the mainstream channels were anyway airing the bigger shows. “The English entertainment genre itself is small and finding a niche within it is not easy,” he added. Targeted at SEC A, 15–35-year-old audiences across the key metros, the channel struggled to give a competition to other channels in the English entertainment space, including sister channel Star World, Zee Café, and action-focused AXN. While FX witnessed good growth, Fox Crime India could not grow the genre. In the past, the channel had aired shows like ‘Arrow’, ‘CSI: NY’, ‘Franklin and Bash’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Law & Order’, ‘Person of Interest’, ‘The Practice’, and ‘Castle’. It is currently airing shows like ‘Boston Legal’, ‘Law and Order: Criminal Intent’, and ‘The Guardian’.
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