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AMC Networks Continues Asia Push With Regional Headquarters, Content Deals

True Love Blooms at Last

The company's Sundance Channel has acquired local rights to such films as Rolling Stones documentary "Crossfire Hurricane" and such series as "Downton Abbey" and Monk."

AMC Networks said Monday that its AMC/Sundance Channel Global international arm is continuing a push into Asia. It said it has set up an Asian headquarters and is taking "substantial steps" toward building out its staff and operations in the region.

As part of the cable network group's push into Asia, it also unveiled a range of content acquisitions, including series and independent films, for the Sundance Channel in the region for 2013-2014.

The programming includes TV premiere rights in Asia to new Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, for which HBO has the U.S. rights, the second season of newsroom drama The Hour in a deal with News Corp.'s Shine following the a previously announced first season of the show and independent films showcased at recent festivals worldwide, such as road movie Here and con man documentary The Imposter.

AMC/Sundance Channel Global said it has also acquired the basic cable rights in Malaysia to multiple seasons of Downton Abbey and Monk from NBCUniversal International Television Distribution.

The company recently picked Keith Mak to oversee affiliate distribution and marketing for its Asian operations. Now, AMC/Sundance Channel Global is starting an executive search for a head of scheduling and other positions in the region. The company’s scheduling and on-air creative services will be based in Singapore, with affiliate operations overseen out of Hong Kong.
 
"After a tremendous amount of distribution growth and success with our original productions, such as Breaking Bad, it is the natural next step for us to augment our localization by establishing both creative and distribution headquarters in Asia," said Bruce Tuchman, AMC/Sundance Channel global president. "With highly experienced personnel and world-class resources on the ground, we will move even closer to our audiences and partners, thereby further accelerating our growth."
 
Launched by Robert Redford, Sundance Channel offers independent films, documentaries and original programming. Internationally, the network carries such shows as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, which in the U.S. air on sibling network AMC.
 
AMC/Sundance Channel Global recently also launched WE tv in Asia.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai