Sony distribs China skein

Deal a first for a Hollywood studio

Sony is the first Hollywood major to distribute a major Chinese TV production in Asia.

Sony Pictures TV Intl. inked with China Central Television to license the latter’s epic drama series “The Stories of the Han Dynasty” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Distribution deal is the first for CCTV’s programming licensing division, China Intl. Television Corp., with a major Hollywood studio.

Deal was unveiled by Betty Tsui, SPTI’s locally based acquisitions exec, and Cheng Chunli, marketing exec for China Intl. Television.

Accord marks another milestone for SPTI on the heels of an agreement with CJ Entertainment to distribute Korean films “The Greatest Expectation” and “How to Keep My Love” throughout Asia.

“The deals with CITVC in China and CJ in Korea reinforce Sony’s unique position as the prime distributor of Hollywood and Asian programming in the region,” said Todd Miller, SPTI senior VP and managing director in Asia.

SPTI will offer “The Stories” as either 21 two-hour telepics or as 50 hourlong episodes.

Shot in HDTV, series is the story of two men — one of noble birth, one of unremarkable heritage — who join a revolution against the Qin government, forging a friendship that is threatened by political ambition and divided loyalties.

CCTV, the largest national TV station in China, operates 16 channels that reach 95% of the population.

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