AXN Creates Korea JV to Add Korean Content

The new agreement with CU Media will add original Korean content to a line-up that includes "CSI" and "Law & Order."

SEOUL -- A joint venture has been created between CU Media, a subsidiary of C&M Co. Ltd., and AXN in Korea, which will allow its current programming of Korean-subtitled English language shows to be further localized with the addition of Korean content. The partnership with CU MEDIA will also see an expansion of AXN's distribution into cable, the company said Monday in a statement.

AXN, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by SPE Networks, entered the Korean market in July 2005 as a foreign retransmission channel, providing popular U.S. programming including CSI and Law & Order. In the last five years its growth in Korea has been marked by the launch of the AXN channel in HD and a deal with multiple system operators including CJ Hellovision and On Media, to launch AXN on cable. AXN is also the first international GE channel to secure carriage on all three IPTV platforms, the company said.

“I am very excited about this joint venture because this gives us the opportunity to further localize AXN as well as significantly expand our brand presence and viewership,” said Ricky Ow, a senior vice president & general manager of SPE Networks – Asia. “Since its launch in Korea, it has been very well-received, as can be seen by the distribution growth achieved over a relatively short span of time," Ow said in the statement.

AXN said in Korea it now has a combined reach of over 4 million households including the Cable and Skylife direct-to-home service.