Nippon Television Network, one of Japan’s top five commercial networks, and Sony Pictures Television are joining forces to launch GEM, a channel for viewers in South East Asia.
This May the partners will set up a joint venture in Singapore to operate the channel. It will broadcast NTV’s variety, drama and other shows, subbed in local languages, to viewers in Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong.
This will be the first such venture for NTV, which plans to supply 500 hours of programming annually. The channel will also source shows from the Asia region, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. Sony Pictures Television, which has long had an extensive international presence, will handle channel distribution and advertising sales.
“There is a strong demand for North Asian content across the Southeast Asian market, especially the types of Japanese dramas and variety entertainment shows for which Nippon TV is highly regarded,” said George Chien, executive VP, networks, Asia-Pacific for SPT.
“After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realize that our programs are our strength and greatest asset. This led to our discovery that the pay-TV business would best enable us to provide constant access to top-notch Nippon TV entertainment to viewers in Southeast Asia. The success of such a venture depends on having a partner who is familiar with and has a proven track record in the pay-TV and media landscape in Asia,” said Kimio Maruyama, board director and executive operating officer of Nippon TV.