Entertainment news website Variety has reported that KC Global Media Entertainment has completed the acquisition of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Asian Pay TV channels on Monday, May 18.
The company, which is led by Former Sony Pictures Television (SPT) executives Andy Kaplan and George Chien, had announced last January that they had acquired its Southeast Asia and South Korean television operations, including AXN Asia, ANIMAX Asia and ONE.
The deal now includes the Japanese entertainment channel GEM, which is a joint venture with Japanese television network Nippon TV.
According to the news report, KC Global Media is planning to step-up original entertainment productions in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and other markets, and they are also on the lookout for other acquisitions in the region.
A representative of the Pay TV channels has confirmed to Anime Pilipinas that the deal has been finalized, but its television operations will continue without disruptions.
Also as a result of the acquisition, the Indian over-the-top streaming service Sony Liv has removed ANIMAX Asia’s live streaming channel from the service.
The anime channel was added to the streaming service, owned by Sony Pictures Television’s Indian subsidiary, after its linear channel was replaced by homegrown kids channel Sony Yay in April 2017.
AXN was launched in 1997 by SPT Asia and was positioned to be the main destination for action-themed shows, but eventually evolved as its general entertainment channel. The channel also aired anime shows in its early years like Fushigi Yuugi, Cooking Master Boy, Ayashi no Ceres and Samurai X.
ANIMAX Asia, meanwhile, was launched by SPT Asia in January 2004 and was the first television channel in Asia solely dedicated to Japanese Anime programming.
ONE was launched in 2010 in partnership with Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), it primarily airs Korean drama shows, variety programs and live events.
GEM was launched in 2015, in partnership with Nippon TV, featuring a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Korean programming in English and local subtitles. Since July 2018, the channel became an All-Japanese entertainment channel, featuring variety shows, dramas and anime shows.