Carlton Communications has joined the crowd of international media companies scouting for investment opportunities in the blossoming Asian TV market.

Nigel Walmsley, chief executive of the group’s U.K. broadcasting subsid Carlton TV, returned to London last week from a trip to Hong Kong and Singapore, where he opened discussions about possible partnerships with several local players.

These included Star TV, Hutchvision’s pan-Asian satellite TV venture, as well as the Hong Kong terrestrial stations Television Broadcasts and Asia TV.

Carlton already has a substantial involvement in the region via its TV equipment subsid Quantel, which supplies many Asian broadcasters.

Broader relationships

The company is now hoping to use that link as the basis for wider relationships, which could involve equity investment and joint ventures on new satellite channels, but could equally well focus on sharing Carlton’s sales and marketing expertise or its studio management and post-production experience.

The Carlton group encompasses Technicolor, pan-European video distrib Pickwick, ITV station Carlton TV and an extensive post-production services division which includes Quantel.

Asia, said Walmsley, is “an area where we want to start bringing some constructive planning to bear on our activities.”

He suggested that, compared to the heavily regulated and relatively mature TV markets in Europe, the Far East may offer easier access to investment and better growth prospects.

Forging ahead

“Countries where TV services have maybe not been established so long are perhaps slightly more responsive to new sales and marketing methods, new technologies and so on,” he observed.