Channel 6, ImaginAsian reveal strategies

LAS VEGAS — The world round-up of buyers panel gave NATPE an ecclectic overview of what programs, genres, and deal structures are popular in their territories.

For Founder & Director of Programs Channel 6, Ireland, Michael Murphy, everything from buying to marketing is virgin territory. His channel started up only 10 months ago. “We buy most of our aquisitions from the studios,” he said. “There has always been an appetite in Ireland for American programs.” One recent surprise was “The Sopranos” which launched from episode one last September to boffo ratings.

Senior VP Programming & Production ImaginAsian TV, USA, David Chu faces different challenges. Only 13 million people or 4% of this country are Asian. “In terms of marketing, we are looking for a mainstream audience that is very hip.”

Chu’s company, which already owns the ImaginAsion Theater in NYC, will open the ImaginAsian Center in LA this June. They are also opening a home video division. So when it comes time to purchase product for television, “I have some leverage,” Chu admitted.

Like most of his collegues, COO TV5Monde France/USA, Patrice Courtaban, buys product on a contiuous basis. “Films are a high priority,” he said. Courtaban said that his company makes pre-sales on documentaries and TV movies. Since they subtitle the shows in up to ten different languages, he added, “we also need to get the subtitling rights.”

For the future, Murphy hopes to launch more channels. “I’d like a bigger budget. We don’t do news or sports. I don’t buy any first-run features. As a new network, tough in negotiating price.”

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