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Sony, Nippon team for new entertainment channel

Sony Pictures Television and Nippon TV are teaming to launch Gem, a new general entertainment pay TV channel in Asia.

George Chien 1The Asian division of the Hollywood studio and the Japanese broadcaster will form a JV to run the new service, which will sit within SPT’s bouquet of pay channels in the region.

Nippon will feed in 500 hours of exclusive content each year and SPT will handle channel distribution and ad sales.

Gem will be a general entertainment service programmed with first-run drama, comedy and variety content from Japan and north Asia.

George Chien (pictured), executive VP, networks, Asia-Pacific for SPT, said: “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.

“We are looking forward to working closely with them on this unique new pay TV offering, which perfectly complements our successful portfolio of Asian entertainment channels.”

Kimio Maruyama, board director and executive operating officer of Nippon TV, said: “After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realise that our programs are our strength and greatest asset.

“Gem Asia enables us to reach out to more people in Southeast Asia with high-quality dramas and entertainment shows that continue to make Nippon TV the most-watched broadcaster in Japan.”

SPT’s other Asian channels include AXN, Animax and Korean content service One. Sony also already has a Gem channel in Vietnam, which will sit outside of the Nippon-SPT JV.