Sony takes Taiwan TV stake

As part of its strategic expansion abroad, Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken a 25% stake in Super TV, one of Taiwan’s leading cable programmers.

A key component of the deal is Super TV’s launch of SPE’s recently announced action/adventure channel AXN on Sept. 21 (Daily Variety, Aug. 21).

As an active partner in this alliance, SPE will provide management support to Super TV’s broadcast and marketing operations. SPE will also bring its extensive programming resources and production expertise to the venture, which plans to produce Mandarin-lingo, general-entertainment shows targeted at Taiwanese audiences.

“We’re looking at this move as part of our overall Chinese strategy,” said Columbia TriStar Television Group president Jon Feltheimer. “We see Super TV as a base for our operations and activities in China and in Chinese.”

Partially because SPE’s parent is Japan’s Sony, the Hollywood studio has been taking aggressive steps to get involved in the Asian TV and film businesses, and not just supply product to the region.

Super TV is one of Taiwan’s key cablers, virtually available in all wired homes (approximately 6 million) in that territory.

Feltheimer confirmed that carriage arrangements with local distributors or cablers for AXN are being negotiated in other Asian territories, and that the recent economic woes of the region have not undermined those deals.

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