Miranda tapped to head NBC Uni Asia


SINGAPORE -- NBC Universal Global Networks has tapped former Walt Disney International Southeast Asia managing director Raymund Miranda as head of its new Singapore-based Asian operation, industry sources in Singapore and Hong Kong said Monday.

The formal announcement is expected to be made from NBC Universal International's London headquarters later this week.

Miranda will take up the regional post at the end of October or early November, sources said. He will report to London-based Roma Khanna, NBC Universal International's recently appointed president of global networks and digital initiatives.

NBC's new operation is expected to include two new channels -- Sci-Fi and the Universal Channel -- along with the recently acquired Sparrowhawk channels in Asia: Hallmark Channel, Movies24 and KidsCo. (HR 8/28).

The exact structure of the merged NBC-Sparrowhawk operation in Asia is still unclear. Sparrowhawk is a joint venture of DIC Entertainment, Corus Entertainment and Sparrowhawk Media.

No launch dates have been given for the NBC channels in Asia.

KidsCo is expected to roll out in Asia at the end of this year or in early 2008, according to KidsCo managing director Paul Robinson.

The joint-venture kids' channel was showcased to pay TV platform operators in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Australia during a three-week roadshow in August.

The Hallmark Channel, headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Singapore, India and Sydney, has 15 million-20 million subscriber households and 28 staffers in the region.

For the past year, Miranda has been based in Manila, where he was working on media strategies and ventures for companies related to the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co.

NBC Universal International has not commented on speculation relating to Miranda's appointment. Miranda could not be reached for comment.