Fox to Replace Star Movies in Asia with Fox Movies Premium

The move is designed to capitalize on the studio's Hollywood brand.

HONG KONG – Fox International Channels (FIC) will launch Fox Movies Premium on linear television and Asia’s first online pay-TV streaming platform, Fox Movies Premium Play, to replace Star Movies in Asia. The channel will be available from Jan. 1, 2012, in high definition.

The move is to capitalize on the Hollywood association the Fox brand possesses, said Zubin Gandevia, FIC COO Asia Pacific & Middle East at the announcement event held on the first day of the annual CASBAA convention in Hong Kong, one of the first strategic steps that FIC would unveil in the next few months. “We bring more Hollywood content to subscribers than anyone else,” Gandevia said.

The revamped channel will simultaneously unveil to its subscribers the complementary service Fox Movies Premium Play, the first online player in Asia and the first made available to subscribers through a TV network. Viewers can stream online in one go or with breaks Hollywood movies from Fox, Disney, MGM, The Weinstein Company and Summit, all of which have long term output deal with FIC. The service will be launched on PCs, then across devices such as tablets and smartphones over time. 

While movies continues to be the focus of the rebranded channel, it will offer additional premium contents including original series such as international hit The Walking Dead and the upcoming pirate-themed Port Royale; exclusive live events such as the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and BAFTA; mini-series such as Titanic, to be premiered next April to memorialize the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Fox Movies Premium will be available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, while the Star Movies brand will remain in Taiwan and the Philippines, markets that Gandevia called analog with not enough digitalization.  

The company plans to launch similar online players for other FIC channels such as Star Chinese Movies in the future.  “It’s the general direction of not only our business, but also the world,” Gandevia told The Hollywood Reporter, “it’s the concept of television everywhere.”