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AZN stocks up on dramas

Cable network pacts for content

Responding to its viewer base of Asian Americans, Comcast-owned cabler AZN has just stocked up on a number of Far Eastern-originated dramas, signing licensing agreements with CCTV (China), KBS (Korea), Star (India), MBC and YA Entertainment (Korea). No financial details were available.

Among the new series is the historical drama “Dae Jo Young” from Korea’s KBS, a 100-episode saga that follows the story of warrior heroes of the Balhae Kingdom, dating back 1,300 years.

Another offering is the Hindi drama “Saara Akaash” from Star India, a 52-parter focusing on the lives of five Air Force pilots. The series was highly rated in India and features a cast of well-known South Asian TV thesps.

There’s also a five-part vampire series called “Freeze,” from Korea’s YA Entertainment. And from CCTV, AZN has acquired the Mandarin drama “The Han Dynasty,” a miniseries set in the time of the country’s first emperor, Qin. It will begin airing in September in primetime.

Among the contempo product, the niche cabler has snapped up from Korea’s MBC a drama called “Thank You,” which is about AIDS and ignorance in a small village.

“Drama series have consistently been among our most popular programs on the channel,” Katie Daniels, AZN exec director of programming said.

A wholly owned unit of Comcast, the channel targets the fast-growing, affluent and multi-generational Asian-American community, as well as a broader American audience interested in the Asian experience.

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