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Kaplan, Chien buy Sony’s Asia nets

Former Sony execs Andy Kaplan and George Chien are buying Sony Pictures Television (SPT)’s South-East Asian and Korean networks through the pair’s newly established company KC Global Media Entertainment.

George Chien

Through the acquisition, KC Global Media Entertainment will own a suite of satellite and pay TV channels in South-East Asia and Korea, including English-language general entertainment network AXN, anime channel Animax and South Korea’s Sony One.

AXN 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.

Animax 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.

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

Kaplan was president of Sony Pictures Television Networks prior to his departure as part of a restructure in 2018. He has since been appointed chairman of the board at the Indian subsidiary of streamer and broadcaster Qyou Media.

Chien was previously executive VP for Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia.

“We strongly believe in the global channel and content model, which has the potential for tremendous growth,” Kaplan said.

Andy Kaplan

“Traditional television continues to offer many opportunities and advantages. Our goal is to fully maximise all of them, building a footprint with these channels and laying the foundation for a beautiful future.”

Chien added: “These popular channel brands were all born in Asia and went on to enjoy great success around the world by providing the best English-language movies and TV shows from Hollywood, Japanese anime, Korean drama, K-Pop, variety and general entertainment – genres that command a healthy share of pay channel revenue in the region.

“As we look to realise even more value from them, we will remain sensitive to the local tastes and flavours, offering our cable, satellite and telco partners the languages and customisation so important to delivering the uniqueness local consumers demand from their content.”

Financial terms for the purchase of SPT’s South-East Asian and Korean media networks business were not disclosed.

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