NEW DELHI, MAY 11: Even as Star India looks at launching three new channels for its Direct-to-Home (DTH) venture Tata Sky, the ministry of information and broadcasting is understood to have sent feelers to the leading private channel with regard to making its content available on rival Zee Group's DTH venture Dish TV before Tata-Sky is launched.

Star Gazing
• Star bouquet not available on Zee's Dish TV
• Star India plans to launch three new channels for its DTH venture Tata-Sky
According to the interconnection guidelines made available by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), all content providers have to make their channels available on each others' DTH platform. Star bouquet, however, is not available on Dish TV, the first private DTH operator which launched its service in late 2004. Tata Sky, an 80:20 joint venture between Tata Group and Star India, is slated to launch its services by July.

Industry sources told FE that I&B ministry has asked Star India to hurry the talks with Zee for providing its channels on Dish TV. "The I&B ministry has taken a serious note of the constant talks between Star India and Dish TV over content sharing arrangement without any agreement. The ministry wants the private channels to honour Trai's interconnection guidelines," government sources said On its part Star India told FE that the talks with Zee on content sharing were "close" to reaching its conclusive outcome. "Till date we have exchanged a lot of proposal on the commercial terms and conditions. We will reach an agreement soon," sources close to the development told FE . However, on I&B ministry's feeler to the channel, Star maintained it had not received anything from the ministry. Meanwhile, Star India is looking to launch three new channels on its DTH venture. "Star's channels could be on movies, gaming and shopping," the sources said.