Singapore – NBCUniversal International Television’s bouquet of channels – DIVA, E!, Universal Channel and Syfy – have recorded significant growth in viewership with strong overall performance in South East Asia during the first half of 2014. This success is a direct result of the increased investment in programming, including the initiative to increase the volume of programming coming Express from the U.S. including Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Suits and Rookie Blue and invest in original, locally produced content, such as It Takes GUTZ To Be A Gutierrez. Other new projects include new hit franchise film Sharknado 2: The Second One and DIVA Presents Telemundo – the first-ever back-to-back Latin American/Hispanic telenovela block on a regional English-language general entertainment channel in Asia.
“Our stellar ratings success for the first half of 2014 proves that we are on the right track – not only when it comes to building a robust content strategy but also in terms of offering a value proposition that engages and resonates with our viewers in the region,” said Christine Fellowes, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Universal Networks International. “We will continue to consolidate our efforts and further invest in fast-tracked series, original productions and programming that are first and exclusive.”
Building on this success with local viewers, NBCUniversal International Television is set to increase its investment in Express, fresh and locally relevant programming. Starting from the fourth quarter of 2014, DIVA viewers can look forward to the Express telecast of critically acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey (season five), award-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine Nine (season two) and fan favourite Atlantis (season two), along with the return of Asia’s original supermodel competition series – Supermodel Me (season five) – in November.
Primetime viewership on DIVA, Asia’s leading entertainment channel for women, was up across the region. DIVA was up by 76% in Singapore (Women 20-44) and 64% in Philippines (Women 16+). The channel was also the number one English pay-TV channel out of nine female-skewing channels in Malaysia. It consistently ranks among the top three English General Entertainment/Lifestyle channels in the country.
As the home of celebrity news and entertainment, E! brings up to 90% of its first-run, pop of culture programming (Kardashians’ franchise, #RichKids and E! Entertainment Specials) within 48 hours after their U.S. debuts. Also in production is season two of hit original series It Takes GUTZ To Be A Gutierrez, which broke ratings records among key demographics and became E!’s most watched series in the Philippines since January 2013.
Promising “100% Characters,” Universal Channel’s signature series – rescue drama Chicago Fire (season three), fantasy thriller Grimm (season four) and magic prank show Tricked (season two) – return with new seasons within 48 hours after their world premieres. Joining the trio in getting the Express treatment is adventure drama The Librarians, airing within 24 hours after the U.S. in December. Primetime viewership for Universal Channel saw triple-digit increases across the region, particularly among Adults 20-44 in Philippines (153%).
Syfy continues to dominate the imagination-based genre. Last week, the primetime encore of Sharknado 2: The Second One boosted the channel’s ranking to number one out of 19 English GE/lifestyle channels in Singapore among Men 16+. It also ranked number two in the category among total viewers and Adults 16+. In the U.S., the Syfy original garnered a record-setting 3.9 million total viewers and 1.6 million Adults 18-49, alongside one billion twitter impressions – making it the most social movie on TV, ever. The channel has also commissioned its first-ever Asian co-production, The Paranormal Zone, a reality-based documentary series that investigates Asia’s supernatural sights and sounds.
NBCUniversal International Television continues to strengthen its position in each of the channel’s distinct content offerings, including women’s entertainment (DIVA), pop culture and celebrity news (E!), character-driven dramas (Universal Channel) and comic, imagination-based stories (Syfy). This gives viewers in the region an exciting, one-of-a-kind, world-class television viewing experience that is hard to resist.