SPT alums Andy Kaplan & George Chien acquire Asian networks


Ex-Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Worldwide Networks executives Andy Kaplan and George Chien have launched a media network business and stocked it with three Asian channels acquired from their former employers.

Kaplan and Chien’s KC Global Media Entertainment has taken a 100% stake in South East Asian and Korean media networks AXN, Japanese anime-skewing Animax and Korean programming hub Sony One. Financial terms of the deal, which will close following the conclusion of local regulatory process and consents, were not disclosed. It is unclear who is backing KC Global.

AXN features drama, features, reality programmes and original productions including SEAL Team, MacGyver and The Amazing Race Asia, reaching more than 16 million households in South East Asia across 16 , according to SPT.

Andy Kaplan

Animax is distributed in more than 10 million homes throughout 13 territories and claims to be Asia’s first 24-hour Japanese anime network, while Sony One airs South Korean drama and entertainment programmes from Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).

Kaplan previously worked for SPT as president of its Worldwide Network’s division until 2018, departing amidst a senior managenent restructure in 2018. Chien was responsible for AXN as EVP of Sony’s Media Networks arm, and was before that Sony’s EVP of Asia Pacific networks.

“We strongly believe in the global channel and content model, which has the potential for tremendous growth,” Kaplan said. “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 customization so important to delivering the uniqueness local consumers demand from their content.”

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