Against the background of a booming Asian economy, Sony Pictures TV is hoping to mount the growing popularity of Western shows in the region to help it ride off into the East.
“We see the Asian TV market as incredibly vibrant, and it presents fantastic opportunities for us,” says Keith Le Goy, SPT prexy of international distribution.
Le Goy contends that Western shows, once viewed by smaller auds, are increasingly appealing to Asia’s mainstream auds. “There’s a huge hunger for (this),” Le Goy says. “People are interested in a whole variety of Western content. We are rolling out different types of TV shows, some adaptations and some original productions.
One such adaptation is “The Game,” a 25-episode original drama based on the bestselling novel “Feng Zi.” The show has been one of Sony TV’s big success stories. Overseas licensees include RTM2 in Malaysia and Today’s TV in Vietnam.
SPT’s plan hinges on the region’s economic expansion. China, for example, continues to grow at a rapid clip of 8% to 9% a year.
“China is the economic powerhouse, but there are also India, Korea and other countries. That’s the bedrock. Economic growth allows a greater number of people to get access to content,” says Le Goy, who also handles international distribution of Sony Pictures’ film, television and other content to all media platforms.
However, Le Goy is careful to avoid lumping the entire Asian market together; rather, he says, Sony TV must fashion an approach that works for each individual territory, given the multiplicity of the region’s languages and cultures.
“We aim to combine the best of the West with the best of the East and the best of scripted with the best of unscripted,” he says. “We see the need to be smart in how we link content to technology to get our stories into people’s hands. Asia has long been a leader in adapting technology. This gives a tremendous edge to (shows that can access those) platforms.”