Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks and Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) today announced their agreement, subject to regulatory approval, to form a joint venture to launch GEM Asia, a new general entertainment channel for audiences across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. The pay TV channel will feature first run and exclusive dramas, comedies and variety entertainment shows from Japan as well as other North Asian territories.
GEM Asia, which will be operated by the joint venture, will have access to more than 500 hours of Japanese content per year exclusively from Nippon TV. SPT Networks will be primarily responsible for distribution and advertising sales for the channel.
George Chien, Executive Vice President, Networks, Asia-Pacific for SPT, said: “There is a strong demand for North Asian content across the Southeast Asian market, especially the types of Japanese dramas and variety entertainment shows for which Nippon TV is highly regarded. We are looking forward to working closely with them on this unique new pay TV offering, which perfectly complements our successful portfolio of Asian entertainment channels.”
Kimio Maruyama, Board Director and Executive Operating Officer of Nippon TV, said: “After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realize that our programs are our strength and greatest asset. This led to our discovery that the pay TV business would best enable us to provide constant access to top-notch Nippon TV entertainment to viewers in Southeast Asia. The success of such a venture depends on having a partner who is familiar with and has a proven track record in the pay TV and media landscape in Asia, and we at Nippon TV are honored to have found SPT Networks. GEM Asia enables us to reach out to more people in Southeast Asia with high-quality dramas and entertainment shows that continue to make Nippon TV the most-watched broadcaster in Japan.”
GEM Asia adds to SPT Networks’ considerable presence in the region, where it is the leader in Asian general entertainment. The portfolio includes ONE, the No. 1 South Korean entertainment destination across Southeast Asia, which has delivered more than 50 percent growth over the past four years in key markets like Singapore and Malaysia; as well as Japanese anime channel Animax, which is especially popular among youth and young adults. Both channels are available as over-the-top platforms in select markets and actively engage fans throughout the region with large-scale events featuring high profile talent from key shows. GEM Vietnam, which is also part of the Asian channels portfolio, will continue to be wholly-owned and operated by SPT Networks.
SPT Networks is also a leading pay TV broadcaster in the English general entertainment space with top-rated AXN, in addition to Sony Channel and beTV; and operates joint-venture channels Baby TV and Vision 2 in Indonesia with Dori Media Group.