'Ong-bak' getting revived exposure on channel

Sahamongkol Film Intl., Thailand’s most prolific movie studio, has launched the Mongkol Channel, a 24-hour cable TV offering which for now acts as a teaser channel, but ultimately is intended to be a profitable enterprise.

Channel launch means that, even though the shoot of “Ong-bak 2″ recently hit a glitch when star and helmer Tony Jaa walked off the set, the original “Ong-bak” has been getting revived exposure on Mongkol Channel.

“Though the channel is still fairly new, we’re confident that it will grow in terms of presence and revenue,” Sahamongkol’s exec Akarapol Techaratanaprasert said. “The channel will also work as a means to promote Thai films. We plan to put at least 400 films into the channel in the next 10 months.”

Mongkol Channel is currently preparing to show almost 200 Thai films, mainly from the catalogue of Sahamongkol, but also from other Thai studios. On air now are “Ong-bak,” action-comedy “7 Prachaban” and “Yaem Yasothorn.” Akarapol says the epic “Suriyothai” will join the grid next month.

Sahamongkol has a contract to supply its recent titles to True Vision, Thailand’s main cabler, and only when True Vision’s rights to each title expires can the studio can air it on Mongkol Channel.

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