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Pay-TV growth market to get Asian content channel

MUMBAI – Vietnam will be the launching place for GEM, a new Asian TV channel being put together by Sony Pictures Television.

The general entertainment channel will feature all Asian content and launch in Jan. 2014, it was announced at the CASBAA Pay-TV convention in Hong Kong on Monday.

“While there is an increasingly strong interest in Vietnam for scripted and non-scripted Asian general entertainment content, programming is available only intermittently on various platforms,” says Hui Keng (‘HK’) Ang, senior vice president, business operations, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia. “With GEM we are bringing Vietnamese audiences the best and most popular shows from across Asia on one dedicated channel.”

SPTV already operates AXN channel in Vietnam, which is one of Asia’s fastest growing pay-TV markets. Pay-TV subscriptions and advertising are expected to roughly double by 2020 from their 2012 levels of 4.8 million subscriptions and $108 million ad revenues.

The group previously launched general entertainment channel ONE in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia with content largely consisting of in Korean dramas, K-pop variety and music programs. In Asia the SPTV group operates wholly-owned channels AXN, Sony Entertainment Television, beTV, ONE, and Animax, and it has a joint-venture stake in the Indonesian telenovela channel Televiva, which it operates with Dori Media Group.

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