Deal takes History to Japan, Korea

AETN Int'l expands with VOD, mobile deals

NEW YORK -- AETN International is expanding digitally in Asia, leading with VOD and mobile deals set to bring local-language versions of History Channel programming to South Korea and Japan.

AETN, which is jointly owned by ABC, Hearst and NBC Universal, announced the deals Wednesday at the MIPCOM TV market in Cannes, putting a digital shine on 18 months of expansion in Asia on standard and HD platforms.

A timetable for the digital rollout in Asia was not immediately clear and financial details were not disclosed.

Fabienne Fourquet, director of international digital media, said in a statement that AETN is set to launch a branded Histor Channel VOD service on South Korea's IPTV platform LG and that it has renewed a VOD agreement with SK Broadband.

The History Channel brand and programs are now available on all three IPTV platforms in Korea in the Korean language, including Korea Telecom's IPTV service, MegaTV, Fourquet said.

Taking History Channel onto Korean mobiles in Korean for the first time, AETN also signed an agreement with TU Media's mobile TV service.

To date, AETN has 21 mobile TV services on 15 carriers.

In Japan, AETN and Digital Media Mart will launch Japanese-language episodes of "Dogfights," "Battle Stations" and "Lost Worlds," marking the country's first local-language History Channel VOD service.

In the Philippines, AETN will launch a full channel on the new SMART mobile TV service in a deal that will mark the first History-branded mobile service to use hand-held digital video broadcasting technology known as DVB-H.

To date, AETN International has launched 21 different mobile TV services with more than 15 mobile carriers.

Elsewhere in Asia, AETN also has extended its global Web portal agreement with MSN to include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. MSN's Web video service now will include a page for the History Channel, the Biography Channel and A&E Network.