Whirlwind puts ATV in mode to buy

Hong Kong

HONG KONG — Things at free-to-air broadcaster Asia Television are more than a bit in flux at the moment.

ATV not only has new management that’s been onboard for about three months, but has been going through a rebranding while gearing up to roll out four digital channels Dec. 31.

Management is ironing out what content is suitable on the digital channels for Hong Kong audiences. One channel has already been designated a 24-hour, locally produced news channel, says Shuen-shuen Hung, vice president of channels management for ATV.

The direction for the other three channels, Hung says, will influence what ATV looks for at Mipcom.

ATV will be looking to find a lot of new genres for its English-language ATV World channel, Hung says, adding that reality shows are still quite popular. About 70% of the channel’s programming hails from the U.S.

The broadcaster will pursue global trends for ATV World, Hung says, adding they will definitely go for hot, new shows.

The other free-to-air broadcaster, TVB, which is the leader in Hong Kong, is also adding digital channels by the end of the year.

On the paybox side, News Corp.’s Star is skipping this year’s Mipcom due to a scheduling conflict with an offsite management strategy meeting. Star World is the company’s English-language entertainment channel.

“It’s fair to say that we are for the most part aware of what is on offer at the moment,” says Ross Crowley, executive vice president of content.

“We already have some commitments in place for the new season with existing output deals, but it’s premature to name them.”

TOP 3

1. Mother at 14 (TVB)

2. Prison Break (TVB)

3. Heroes (TVB)

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