Rupert Murdoch's Star TV is strengthening its position as a programme provider in the competitive Indian market by buying a 26% stake in local cable TV operator Hathway Cable and Datacom Private, according to wire reports.

The Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp is understood to be paying around $75m in cash for the holding. The move is expected to mean Star TV content and services reach about 2.5m homes through Hathway's cable network.

"It's a concrete instance of getting solid distribution for our overall multi-service package," James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of Star TV Murdoch, told wire services.

Star TV is understood to be eyeing further acquisitions in India and China, using shares as well as cash as currency. Star TV's so-called convergence package includes interactiveTV, set-top boxes, cable services and existing channel business.