Endemol ramps up in Asia

Singapore – The continued resurgence of game shows is paying off for Endemol in Asia-Pacific. In its first co funding and revenue-sharing deal in South East Asia, Endemol has joined forces with Malaysia’s Juita Viden. The partnership’s first venture, Deal or No Deal, will premiere on Malaysia’s NTV7 on January 15 2007.

Deal or No Deal has also been licensed to Singapore’s MediaCorp, Indonesia’s RCTI and Hong Kong’s ATV.

Endemol South East Asia’s Bangkok-based Managing Director Ed Sharples tells Television Asia he is looking to set up permanent offices in Indonesia and Malaysia to drive Endemol’s business in those markets, particularly for its Call TV shows.

Sharples noted that 24 Endemol programs are in production or have been commissioned in the region.


Network Ten’s digital initiative

Sydney – Australia’s Network Ten, in an attempt to catch up on the digital front behind rivals Nine (ninemsn) and Seven (Yahooi7), will relaunch its website, www.ten.com.au, in February 2007 to focus on video streaming, downloads, and communities surrounding core TV brands.ten.com.au will be supported by more than 50 program sites and online communities, with versions and extensions of programs for mobile devices and broadband users. Advertisers will be offered new opportunities to build brands and engage directly with consumers. Ten has had notable successes in digital media including providing free, advertiser-supported downloads of scenes from its hit comedy Thank God You're Here; the top Australian TV website in 2006, Big Brother; and the Australian Idol site, which generated more than 2.5 million streams.


Nine searches for Lost Tribes

Sydney – Australia’s Nine Network and TVNZ New Zealand are co-producing The Lost Tribes, a series that follows three suburban families sent to live for a month with the last primitive tribes on Earth. Based on the European format Ticket To The Tribes and produced by Cornerbox, the series will trek to African, Asian and South merican villages.Other highlights of Nine’s 2007 line-up nclude Code Blue, an observational documentary series rom the producers of hospital-set RPA; The Dame Edna xperience, a co-production with UK’s Tiger Aspect, eaturing Australia’s favorite megastar interviewing elebrities; Tsunami, a BBC miniseries on the Boxing Day isaster, starring Toni Collette; Monarchy, a program claiming unprecedented access to the life of Britain’s richest woman and the world’s most famous family; and six-part drama Primeval, which posits that prehistoric creatures are appearing millions of years after extinction.


China to launch SinoSat-3 in 2007

China – Television broadcasting satellite SinoSat-3 is due to launch in May 2007 to replace the dud SinoSat-2.

In the skies since October 29 2006, SinoSat-2 suffered technical glitches and failed to deploy its solar arrays and communications antennae completely, rendering it unable to provide broadcast and telco services.


Minority shareholders say no to Li’s sale of PCCW stakes

Hong Kong – Richard Li’s sale of the 23% controlling stake in Hong Kong telecommunications giant PCCW to family friend and associate, Francis Leung Pak-to, was rejected by minority shareholders of Singapore-listed Pacific Century Regional Developments (PCRD) on November 30.

Some 76.3% of the votes were cast against the HK$9.2 billion deal (HK$6 per share). Although Li holds 75% of PRCD, he was barred from voting under regulations governing connected transactions, as Leung revealed that Li’s father, tycoon Li Ka-shing, and Spanish telco Telefonica were the buyers.

Richard Li reportedly had a change of heart after learning of his father’s involvement and hoped PCRD shareholders would reject the deal in a bid to escape the elder Li’s shadow.



HIT appoints Huab to head up Asian office

Hong Kong – Antonio Huab has been appointed as Hit Entertainment’s Vice President Asia, based in its newly opened Hong Kong office. Huab was formerly with Hutchison Harbor Ring, which reps Turner for Greater China. He will be responsible for driving HIT’s consumer productions and TV distribution business across the Asia Pacific region.