THE second validation survey for HutchVision's STAR TV satellite television network has revealed that 11.3 million households are able to view the service's five channels. This is an increase of 203 per cent since STAR's last validation figures were released seven months ago in July last year. The rapid rise in households is testament to the development of STAR's regional potential during the past 12 months. The company is now under the chairmanship of Mr Julian Mounter. ''Our six-month-old estimate of 3.75 million households at that time was obviously an underestimate,'' said Mr Robert Wilson, assistant vice-president, research, sales and marketing, at STAR's Hongkong headquarters. ''The threefold increase is a combination of better knowledge of the market and measurement capabilities,'' he said. Though the increase is impressive, STAR's actual rate of growth is difficult to quantify because it is being measured in a growing universe. ''We are measuring growth and . . . increasing what we measure as we go,'' Mr Wilson said. The station has undoubtedly increased its reach among households within its satellite footprint but the large jump is also due to its being surveyed across a wider area with more countries and more people involved. Earlier surveys covered very specific markets such as Hongkong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Israel. But the latest validation, conducted last December and January, by Hongkong market research company Frank Small & Associates (FSA), dealt with 10 of the 38 countries within the STAR TV footprint. Basically, 6,366,567 households were validated receiving STAR TV in India, Taiwan, Israel, Hongkong, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Kuwait. Korea, which was last surveyed in July last year, was not validated this time around because it was felt growth in the number of households there was probably not sufficient to warrant the expense of conducting research. A separate survey not carried out by FSA also confirmed that 4.8 million households in China receive the service as well as an additional estimated 200,000 households in Saudi Arabia Much of the 203 per cent growth is attributable to the addition of the China households. China had not previously been validated for STAR able-to-view figures. Growth was also particularly marked in India and Indonesia where the number of households receiving STAR TV rose 157 per cent and 153 per cent respectively to 3.3 million and 36,211. Figures in Pakistan, Hongkong and the Philippines effectively doubled, while the number of households able to view STAR in Taiwan and Israel rose by over 50 per cent. Households in the UAE, Thailand and Kuwait remained stable. STAR executives were delighted with the figures, as were Hongkong's advertising agencies and their clients. ''STAR is taking a much higher profile in clients' minds and we are always pleased to see validation data for new media,'' said Ms Janet Fitzpatrick, media director of Lintas Hongkong. STAR TV senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Mr Carl Meyer, said that advertising growth had grown hand in hand with audience growth and that support from international advertisers was strong and solid. ''A year ago we had 60 individual advertisers. Now we have 300. ''Sales for the coming year have already surpassed 1992's full year revenue. ''Marketers have come to appreciate the power we afford them in reaching their market segments, wherever they may be in Asia,'' he said. The question now is how STAR TV will fare in the face of growing competition from ZTV, India's alternative Hindi entertainment channel which is also carried on Asiasat and rivals STAR's STAR Plus channel. Figures are not yet available to measure what impact ZTV is having on STAR audiences but it is having an effect. ''STAR's figure in India [3.3 million] is not all due to STAR Plus,'' said Ms Fitzpatrick. ''Some of it must be attributed to the arrival of ZTV.'' Extra competition from the Australian Broadcasting Corp's Asian television service, which begins satellite transmission next week via transponders leased on Indonesia's Palapa B2P satellite, could also affect STAR viewing in some markets. The service, to be called Australia Television International (ATVI), does not have STAR's reach in the Middle East or South Asia. But STAR subscribers with movable dishes in Hongkong, Indonesia, the Philippines, south China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Bangladesh will be able to receive it.