A+E Networks has increased its stake in The History Channel Japan from 50% to 80%.
The US-based channels group has run a 50-50 joint venture with Super Network/ Tohokushisha (TFC) to operate the factual channel since 2000, but has moved to consolidate as it seeks more control over its international assets.
History Channel Japan will continue to operate as a joint venture, with Super Network offering its local ad sales and distribution expertise. The partners believe the new structure will position History to take advantage of Japanese non-linear and mobile consumption trends.
A History Plus-branded OTT service separately launched in Asia last year.
The restructured ownership in Japan will see A+E “injecting a new suite of digital rights to fully support TFC’s OTT initiatives”, with A+E adding to History Japan’s “brand offerings for Japanese consumers and partner on future productions”.
“A+E Networks is enormously proud of our 15-year partnership with TFC in Japan and this transaction aligns our interests for the next phase of growth together,” said A+E’s president, international and digital media, Sean Cohan (pictured). “The addition of digital rights significantly enhances the partnership to better serve our distribution and ad sales partners in Japan.”
“We welcome A+E Networks’ new investment in this venture,” said a Super Network rep. “A+E has proven to be an effective partner and we anticipate even greater growth moving forward.”
A+E took full control of its Asian channels business in 2013, buying out Malaysian pay TV firm Astro.