Andy Kaplan & George Chien’s KC completes SPT network deal in Asia

SEAL Team

KC Global Media Entertainment, the company launched by Sony Pictures Television (SPT) alums Andy Kaplan and George Chien, have completed the acquisition of four Asian channels from the executives’ former employers.

The deal, first unveiled in January, will see Kaplan and Chien’s KC Global take a 100% stake in South East Asian and Korean media networks AXN, Animax, ONE and GEM. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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 the region.

Animax is distributed in more than 10 million homes throughout 13 territories and claims to be Asia’s first 24-hour Japanese anime network. ONE airs South Korean drama and entertainment programmes from Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), while GEM offers first run and exclusive dramas and variety entertainment shows from Japan.

“At a challenging time when deals are falling away, we maintain our strong belief in the global network and content model,” Kaplan said. “We hope this transaction represents a true turning point for the media business in Asia, and others contemplating entering the market see the many advantages and opportunities that we do as the world gets back to business.”

Affiliated promotion

KC has also promoted Avani Bhanchawat to VP of affiliates, media and sponsorship sales. In her new Singapore-based role, the executive will lead all revenue-generating activities across both the affiliate and advertising sales sides of the company.

Bhanchawat has worked at the networks since 2017 having initially joined as director of advertising sales for South East Asia. She later rose to become VP of media and sponsorship sales, having previously worked at Viacom International Media Networks in both Asia and Africa.

“I strongly believe her astute business acumen will see her further strengthen our existing partnerships, while forging new strategic relationships and identifying opportunities for growth in order to provide world-class entertainment to our Asian audiences,” said Chien.

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.

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