Sony, Nippon TV to launch joint venture entertainment channel

DetailsEditor | 22 April 2015

Aiming to meet what they says is growing demand for North Asian content across South East Asia, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks and Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) are to form GEM Asia.

sonynipponCreated subject to regulatory approval, the joint venture will launch a pay-TV channel featuring first run and exclusive dramas, comedies and variety entertainment shows from Japan as well as other North Asian territories. GEM Asia will also 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.

SPT Networks already claims a 'considerable' presence in the region with a portfolio including ONE, said to be the leading South Korean entertainment destination across Southeast Asia, delivering more than 50% 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. GEM Vietnam, which is also part of the Asian channels portfolio, will continue to be wholly-owned and operated by SPT Networks.

"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," asserted George Chien, Executive Vice President, Networks, Asia-Pacific for SPT. "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."

Added Kimio Maruyama, Board Director and Executive Operating Officer of Nippon TV: "After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realise that our programmes 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 honoured 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."