Asia-only for German net

Amazia is pay TV from Splendid

Germany's Splendid Film is set to launch Europe's first pay TV channel devoted exclusively to Asian cinema and programming.

The channel, called Amazia (short for Amazing Asia), is set to launch in the fall on German cable and pay TV platforms. Asian films and Manga animation will make up the bulk of Amazia's programming, but the channel also will feature such Asian sports as kickboxing and sumo wrestling plus Asian game shows from Korea and Japan.

Splendid will supply about 70% of Amazia's programming from its own library, which includes more than 400 Asian feature films. But Splendid CEO Andreas Klein said in an interview that the Cologne-based group also will be acquiring specifically for Amazia.

If the channel succeeds, it could provide a new platform and revenue stream in Europe for Asian product.

While Asian films are strong DVD sellers, they rarely are shown in primetime slots on German television and often struggle to break out of art house niche in theatrical release in the territory.

Splendid is hoping Amazia also will provide a major cross-promotion opportunity. The company already has launched an Asia cinema DVD label also called Amazia in Germany and in Benelux, where Splendid has a distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox.