DreamWorks Channel set for Thailand
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc will offer a children’s television channel in Thailand and 18 other Asian countries by the second half of next year, the first television channel for the movie studio that made Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.
The channel will feature shows based on the company's movies, including How to Train Your Dragon and Puss in Boots, as well as original animated series currently in production, the company said today in a statement. DreamWorks Animation will also pull programming from a catalogue that includes Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.
This image released by DreamWorks Animation shows a scene from "The Penguins of Madagascar." DreamWorks plans to launch a children’s television channel in Asia leveraging its movie properties. (AP photo)
The company said the DreamWorks Channel, at launch, will offer 2,000 hours of existing content and 1,200 half-hours of original animation currently in production, more than any children's channel in the region.
The studio has partnered with HBO Asia for affiliate sales, marketing and technical services. The DreamWorks Channel will be supported with commercials in some markets and be ad-free in others.
Besides Thailand, the channel will be available in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, among other countries.
DreamWorks Animation has expanded into television, toys and online video to reduce its reliance on film, a cyclical business with thin profit margins. After more than a decade of producing successful films, the company has taken write-downs on three movies in the past three years, Rise of the Guardians, Turbo and Mr Peabody and Sherman, after they fell short at the box office.
DreamWorks Animation, which doesn't have the support of a larger corporation like Walt Disney Co, has discussed a sale with Softbank Corp and Hasbro Inc in recent months. Both companies opted not to acquire the Glendale, California-based studio.
"This is the maiden voyage," said Eric Ellenbogen, co-head of DreamWorks International TV. "Asia is a natural market because you have a burgeoning pay-TV business here, an expanding middle class and a young population as well."
HBO Asia, based in Singapore, will manage affiliate sales, marketing and technical services for the channel, which Mr Ellenbogen said will be made available on mobile phones, tablets and via on-demand services. DreamWorks Animation will be able to offer viewers the series it produces for Netflix Inc because Netflix doesn't operate in any of its initial 19 markets.