Singapore and Tokyo − Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks and Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) announced their agreement, subject to regulatory approval, to form a joint venture to launch GEM Asia, a new general entertainment channel for audiences across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. The pay-TV channel will feature first run and exclusive dramas, comedies and variety entertainment shows from Japan as well as other North Asian territories.

GEM Asia, which will be operated by the joint venture, will have access to more than 500 hours of Japanese content per year exclusively from Nippon TV. SPT Networks will be primarily responsible for distribution and advertising sales for the channel.

George Chien, Executive Vice President, Networks, Asia-Pacific for SPT, said, “There is a strong demand for North Asian content across the Southeast Asian market, especially the types of Japanese dramas and variety entertainment shows for which Nippon TV is highly regarded. We are looking forward to working closely with them on this unique new pay-TV offering, which perfectly complements our successful portfolio of Asian entertainment channels.”

Kimio Maruyama, Board Director and Executive Operating Officer of Nippon TV, said, “After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realize that our programmes are our strength and greatest asset. This led to our discovery that the pay-TV business would best enable us to provide constant access to top-notch Nippon TV entertainment to viewers in Southeast Asia. The success of such a venture depends on having a partner who is familiar with and has a proven track record in the pay-TV and media landscape in Asia, and we at Nippon TV are honoured to have found SPT Networks. GEM Asia enables us to reach out to more people in Southeast Asia with high-quality dramas and entertainment shows that continue to make Nippon TV the most-watched broadcaster in Japan.”