E! going local in Asia

Comcast International Media Group, which operates channels including E! Entertainment and Style, is embarking on a local production push in Asia.

The on-the-ground production initiative will start next year with a local version of E! News, E! News Asia, which will roll out in the second quarter. The show will offer a mix of entertainment news from Hollywood and Asia. E! will also subtitle more of its shows into local language in key Asian markets.

"The Asia Pacific region is one of the global media industry's most exciting areas of growth," said Christine Fellowes, CIMG managing director, Asia Pacific. "The expansion of our activities to include local production is the next stage of our business' evolution as viewership reaches critical mass and advertisers seek to interact more closely with the brand."

E! has already launched local versions of its flagship news programme in Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Latin America.

CIMG hopes the localization effort will increase ad sales opportunities. Sony Pictures Entertainment Networks - Asia (SPENA) was recently appointed the regional ad sales representative for E! in South East Asia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

As well as handling ad sales for Sony channels, SPENA also handles activity for AETN's All Asia Networks channels including History and Biography.