Cabler to target auds interested in Asian ent., lifestyle p'gramming

WorldAsia Television, the first English-language Asian-themed network in the U.S., is slated to launch on cable mid-2004, net founder Michael Tsang announced.

Digital cabler will be targeted at mainstream auds interested in Asian entertainment and lifestyle programming. Channel is in early negotiations with MSOs and satellite operators on carriage deals.

“There’s a big lack of Asian-themed programming because there are very few Asians in the media. Part of the goal for this network is to create opportunities for Asians in front of and behind the camera,” Tsang said. He will serve as president-CEO of the cabler.

Programming plans for the cabler include a mix of original unscripted programming and acquired series. Originals will deal in Asian-centric topics including feng shui, yoga, martial arts and Japanese anime.

WA-TV will also acquire Asian-themed theatricals from the U.S. and abroad. Further programming will be announced at NATPE.

“For Asian-Americans, WA-TV will fulfill a need to see Asian stars, families, situations, cultural references and even advertising on a single, English-language network,” Tsang said. “For non-Asian viewers, it will satisfy a growing interest in the most fascinating aspects of Asian culture and the popularity of films such as ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,’ and stars such as Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan.”

Venture-capital manager Tsang is the founder of WorldAsia, a producer of Asian lifestyle and cultural events.

Exec team includes exec VP-chief operating officer Wynn J. Salisch; WorldAsia artists prexy Richard Glasser; and VP of production Mitsu Hagiwara.

Advisory board includes Stephen G. Tao, who’s held exec programming positions at VH1, New Line TV, 20th Century Fox TV and ABC; Dan DeGuzman Jr., director of strategic advertising for Sony Music Corp.; David Gould; and Richard M. Uzzi.

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