Betty Tsui: Vice President, programming, Kix, Thrill
Betty Tsui joined Lionsgate, Saban and Saban and Lionsgate joint venture channel operator Celestial Tiger earlier this year from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Having also previously worked at Star, Tsui is a seasoned programming executive and at Celestial is looking after the Kix and Thrill services.
Describe the profile of the channels you are buying for?
Kix is the ultimate destination for action entertainment in Asia. KIX offers action fans a high-octane blend of programs including combat sports, blockbuster action movies, hit action series and cutting-edge reality shows. With first and exclusive premieres every month, KIX guarantees you non-stop adrenaline-pumping entertainment.
Kix HD is an exciting high definition channel for Asia that combines the very best in action entertainment (KIX programs) with a late-night dose of thrilling, chilling programs (‘Thrill’ programs).
Showcasing the genre’s most compelling Hollywood and Asian blockbusters to mixed martial arts combat events, to action-packed reality shows and TV series, Kix HD brings excitement, thrills and an adrenaline rush in high definition to viewers’ living rooms.
Thrill is Asia’s first and only movie channel dedicated 24/7 to the widely popular horror, thriller and suspense genres. Packed with scream-worthy movies from Asia and Hollywood, Thrill also features a selection of chilling TV series. By bringing our viewers the best in non-stop scares.”
What are the target demos for the channels?
Kix, Kix HD and Thrill target adults 18-45. Kix and Kix HD are male-skewed and Thrill is slightly female-skewed.
What are the best-performing shows on the channels?
For Kix/Kix HD, the best-performing shows are our exclusive mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing tournaments such as Bellator Fighting Championship, It’s Showtime, and M-1. Our first and exclusive TV series are also doing well including the BBC/Sky 1 series Mad Dogs and the CJ Entertainment miniseries Girl Killer K.
For Thrill, the popular horror movies and thrillers we air have a very loyal and consistent following. We are also attracting viewers with our first and exclusive series such as Bedlam and Blood Thirsty Prosecutor.
What is the mix of acquired and original programming?
At this stage, we are mostly acquiring content, but we will be looking at developing and producing original programming for both Kix and Thrill in the coming year.
What has been acquired recently?
Combat sports and MMA promotions, action movies/series packages from various content suppliers.
Do you have output deals with any studios or suppliers?
All of the MMA events on our channel are multi-year or long term deals such as the exclusive pan-Asian deal we have with Bellator Fighting Championships for the territories Kix is in. We also have a volume deal with the largest entertainment company in South Korea, CJ E&M Corporation, for their latest cutting-edge action and thriller series.
Are there any particular needs at the moment in terms of acquisitions – is there a particular slot you are buying for – or a particular type of show you would like to acquire?
We are always on the look-out for current and on brand programming that may be a bit too edgy for the other channels.
Where do you acquire from (international distributors or more local?)?
We strive to have a good balance between Western/Hollywood and Asian-produced programs on our channels so it’s about a 50/50 split between international and Asian distributors/producers.
How important a market is ATF for you?
ATF is becoming more and more important as a market in Asia due to the increasing strength of Asian entertainment and the demand for local content. It is also a great opportunity to get a sense of what the content industry here is “buzzing” about, especially for the Southeast Asian countries.