International Channel Rebrands as AZN Television
By International Networks
Mar 22, 2005, 15:53

Channel for Asian Americans Ramps Up for Relaunch With Extensive Acquisitions of Films, Drama and Anime, and a Commitment to Original Programming

Peilin Chou Joins AZN Television as SVP of Programming and Production

Englewood, CO -- On March 28, International Channel will rebrand as AZN Television, a cable channel targeting Asian Americans. In preparation for the change, AZN Television is announcing major program acquisition deals that deepen its inventory of Asian films, drama and anime. In addition, the channel will significantly increase its investment in original programming. AZN Television has also named Peilin Chou as Senior Vice President of Programming and Production. She will oversee the channel's original programming, acquisitions, scheduling and on-air promotions. Steve Smith, Managing Director, International Networks (parent company of AZN Television) made these announcements today.

"AZN Television is getting off to an incredible start, becoming the first national platform dedicated to Asian American viewers," said Smith. "Our growing stable of original shows together with the vast lineup of acquired Asian productions send us on our way to delivering a channel where Asian Americans can see themselves and their culture."

AZN Television debuts its new schedule on March 28. The lineup includes a heavy dose of Asian films (including Bollywood), drama, anime and originals. Also featured will be Asian language news programs, pop music, documentaries and sports. Many programs will air in their original Asian language and subtitles will accommodate more acculturated Asian American and non-Asian viewers.

"Comcast is committed to developing and delivering a diverse array of multicultural programming. AZN Television will play that role for our Asian American customers by serving up compelling and relevant content to satisfy the emerging Asian American market," said Amy Banse, Senior Vice President of Content Development, Comcast Corporation.

These new program acquisitions total over 850 hours of content, most of which are U.S. premieres. Included are quality feature films from Korea, Japan, Mainland China, Thailand, and India, plus anime movies (such as the acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies), along with some of the best dramas from Korea, Japan and Mainland China.

"We are acquiring product that is widely popular in Asia and is desired by Asian American audiences," continued Smith. "Combined with our U.S.-based original products we believe we have the right mix of content that will resonate with Asian American viewers."

AZN Television will significantly increase its investment in original programming that is produced in the U.S. by Asian Americans. All originals will be produced in English and will air in primetime on Wednesday nights. Productions include second seasons of Asia Street Comedy, XBytes and Korean Music Countdown. New shows currently in production include AZN Cinema, Popcorn Zen, Quest China, India Business Week and the animated series Cooleyville.

Peilin Chou joins AZN Television from Spike TV, where she was part of the original management team that launched the network. She will be based in New York City. As Vice President of Original Series at Spike TV, Chou was responsible for the development and production of all original series from inception through air. Chou was responsible for the groundbreaking program The Joe Schmo Show, which originated a new television genre-"faux reality". Prior to her position at Spike TV, Chou served as the Director of Development at Nickelodeon. Chou began her career in feature film development as a Creative Executive at Touchstone Pictures and Walt Disney Feature Animation. Chou was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

"I'm thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking effort. This is a deep personal passion for me, and it fulfills a longtime need in the marketplace for a channel Asian Americans can call their own," said Peilin Chou, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, AZN Television. "I'm looking forward to working with the Asian American production community to bring the unique talents, stories and experiences of this growing population to the U.S. television landscape.

About the Asian American Market

Asian Americans have $363 billion in spending power and, according to the U.S. Census, represent 4.6 % of the U.S. population. Of the total 13.5 million Asian Americans, 85% speak English.

About International Networks

AZN Television is International Networks' ad-supported channel that consists of programming targeted to Asian American viewers. The company also provides 16 pay TV channels that offer specific in-language programming from a variety of international sources. International Networks is the trade name of International Networks, LLC, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation.
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