E! Online is entering the foreign market, inking its first international content deal with Tricast Ltd., Asia’s leading Internet content provider to create regional Web sites for Web users in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Taiwan.
As part of the agreement, Tricast will manage exclusive distribution rights for all E! Online’s content throughout the territories.
E! becomes the second major cabler in months to set up an online presence in Asia. Earlier this year, Tricast inked a similar deal with MTV Networks to create regionalized Web sites in the same countries for the cabler’s MTV Asia Online site.
Chinese edition skedded
E! and Tricast plan to launch an English-language version of the E! Online Asia site later this year. A Chinese edition, in both traditional and simplified character sets, is skedded for the end of the year.
The Asian editions will be customized to cater to Asian popular culture and include local movie release schedules and related stories.
“With the continued domestic success of E! Online and increasing popularity of E! programming overseas, we are aggressively seeking content partnerships with leading Internet companies to engage our audiences and extend the E! brand,” said Doug Sylvester, VP of new business development for E! Entertainment Television. “Our relationship with Tricast gives us a strong presence throughout the Pacific Rim and a foothold on which to localize our Internet activity outside the U.S.”
E!’s programming is already distributed throughout much of Asia.