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Kaplan, Chien finalise deal for Sony nets

Former Sony executives Andy Kaplan and George Chien have completed their deal to buy Sony Pictures Television (SPT)’s South-East Asian and Korean networks through their newly established company KC Global Media Entertainment.

Andy Kaplan

The deal, announced in January, gives Kaplan and Chien full control of Asian media networks AXN, Animax, Sony One and GEM.

KC Global Media Entertainment is expanding the role of the networks’ sales VP, Avani Bhanchawat, promoting her to lead all affiliate, media and sponsorship revenue-generating activities across the company.

Based in Singapore, Bhanchawat will work across both the affiliate and advertising sales sides of the company.

Bhanchawat, a seasoned professional in the broadcast industry, has worked at the networks since 2017. Initially joining as director of ad sales for South-East Asia, she eventually rose to become VP of media and sponsorship sales. Previously, Bhanchawat held leadership roles at Viacom International Media Networks in both Asia and Africa.

George Chien

Financial terms of the deal, which sees KC take a 100% stake in the networks, were not disclosed.

Kaplan said: “At a challenging time when deals are falling away, we maintain our strong belief in the global network and content model.

“We hope this transaction represents a true turning point for the media business in Asia, and others contemplating entering the market see the many advantages and opportunities that we do as the world gets back to business.”

AXN is an English-language entertainment channel which airs drama and reality series such as SEAL Team, MacGyver, The Amazing Race Asia and Asia’s Got Talent in more than 16 million households in South-East Asia across 16 territories.

Avani Bhanchawat

Animax, the first television channel in Asia solely dedicated to Japanese anime, is distributed to more than 10 million homes in 13 territories. It airs programming from studios such as Mad House, Toei Animation, TMS Entertainment and Bones.

One showcases the latest South Korean drama and entertainment shows from Seoul Broadcasting System. These include selected primetime dramas broadcast within 24 hours of their debut in Korea.

GEM offers first-run and exclusive dramas and variety entertainment shows from Japan, including selected primetime dramas airing at the same time and within the same week of their original broadcast.

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