Sky News, STAR team in Asia

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NEW DELHI -- News Corp.'s London-based Sky News has appointed Hong Kong-based STAR as its exclusive distribution partner for the channel across Asia, further strengthening an existing distribution partnership between both companies.

Sky News is available in the Middle East via STAR bouquets on the ART/ADD platform as well as various pay TV platforms including Now TV in Hong Kong and Starhub Cable Vision in Singapore.

As Sky expands its profile in Asia, it can expect to face stiff competition from CNN, the BBC, CNBC and, increasingly, China Central Television, whose English-language channel 9 is making inroads across the region. CCTV, China's state-run televison network, also is gaining greater exposure abroad, completing a global clips deal with BBC Worldwide in April 2007.

"I'm delighted that this new partnership with STAR will allow us to reach audiences in a range of fast-paced dynamic countries across Asia," Sky News chief John Ryley said in a statement.

According to statistics collected by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, Sky News had just a 0.5% market share in the U.K. in April, compared with BBC One's 19.4% and ITV's 16.9%.

Saul Symonds in Hong Kong contributed to this story.
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