A&E Asian nets ink distrib'n deals


SINGAPORE -- A&E Television Networks' two joint-venture Asian channels will launch June 15 in Southeast Asia with new distribution deals in place for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, the company said Wednesday.

An existing distribution deal with TrueVisions in Thailand for the History Channel has been wrapped into the new joint venture, AETN All Asia Networks.

The History Channel and Crime & Investigation Network will be carried on direct-broadcast satellite platform Astro in Malaysia and Brunei, AAAN said. Astro has about two million residential subscribers in Malaysia.

In Singapore, both channels will be carried on the country's sole pay TV platform, StarHub, which has 342,000 digital cable subscribers (70% of the total subscriber base of 490,000). AAAN has not disclosed the packages in which the two channels will be included.

The History Channel's schedule at launch includes programs such as "True Caribbean Pirates," "Warrior Empire: The Mughals" and "Chairman Mao."

Crime & Investigation goes on air with "The First 48," "Cold Case Files #1," "Life After Death Row" and "Deadly Kidnappings."

Both channels will be language-versioned in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, with Thai and Chinese to follow.

Sean Cohan, A&E Television Networks' senior vp international, said both brands will roll out across VOD, mobile and broadband.

The joint venture is responsible for the channels in South East Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.