Star Asia Inks Cox Carriage Pact

Cox Communications to carry Star India PLUS, Star One, Star India Gold in northern Virginia.

News Corp.'s Star Asia signed its first cable-carriage deal in the United States, according to Cox Communications, which is offering general-entertainment channel Star India PLUS, Star One (Hindi) and movie channel Star India Gold to digital subscribers in its northern Virginia system.

A Star executive said in announcing the deal that it was looking to get its Asian channels on more Cox systems.

The northern Virginia area -- a suburb of Washington, D.C. -- has one of the largest Indian populations in the country, according to Cox.

Cox is ramping up its international offerings with 13 new additional channels, adding Chinese-, Russian- and Italian-language channels in addition to Star offerings.

As an additional inducement to northern Virginia's increasingly diverse population, Cox is trying to promote its phone service, as well, by offering a calling plan with 60 free international minutes per month.