Singapore – StarHub Digital Cable has repackaged a number of its channel tiers and has announced the addition of new offerings to bring the total number of channels on its pay-TV service to a total of 159 by July 2008. Adding to its six Basic Groups, StarHub rolled out the new Lifestyle Basic Group. Most of the channels in the Basic Groups and Basic Upsize tiers have been repackaged from the unbundling of its Family Plus tier of 21 channels across different genres and the Chinese Plus II digital groups. Zone Reality is the only channel confirmed to be exiting the platform, which will be available only until June 30 2008. “The content provider of Zone Reality has decided to withdraw the channel from Asia, following a restructuring of its business operations in the region,” said a StarHub spokesperson. Also omitted from Thursday’s repackaging announcement was BBC Entertainment, one of the channels caught in the crossfire between StarHub and rival telco SingTel. It was widely anticipated that, as a warning to networks, StarHub might drop at least one channel whose parent network had secured carriage on SingTel’s mioTV pay-TV platform. But both BBC Global Channels and StarHub say that discussions are still ongoing. “As our existing contract to carry BBC Entertainment is scheduled to end after 31 August this year, unless an agreement can be reached to extend the contract, the channel will not be part of the new Basic Upsize line-up,” say StarHub. New channels added to the Basic and Basic Upsize tiers include Sony Pictures Entertainment Networks Asia’s AXN Beyond and AETN All Asia Networks’ The Biography Channel. New channels to be available in the Entertainment Basic Upsize tier from July 2008 will be NBC Universal’s SCI FI and Universal Channel. And Eurosportnews was unbundled from Family Plus and added to the Sports Group at no additional cost.
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