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A+E Networks has committed to a major expansion of its footprint in South Korea via a partnership with entertainment media powerhouse, IHQ, in which it will acquire a strategic stake. In addition, A+E will purchase two local channels – FoodTV and TVIS – which, via a partnership with IHQ and its majority shareholder, D’Live, will be widely distributed across a range platforms to the market’s digital audience that includes more than 20 million homes.
TVIS and FoodTV are intended to be rebranded as A+E’s genre-defining global brands, History and Lifetime in 2017. With access to IHQ’s strong relationships with Korean talent and production capabilities, both channels will feature a significant pipeline of local original content alongside A+E’s franchises.
A+E will launch digital content and products, and take advantage of Korea’s highly-evolved digital ecosystem through its cooperation with IHQ. IHQ and A+E Networks will also work together to exploit regional growth opportunities for IHQ brands and content outside Korea.
“This is a broad and ambitious partnership that enables A+E Networks to create a content production engine across all platforms, and will provide growth opportunities across a region that is of critical strategic importance to us,” said Edward Sabin, Managing Director, Americas + Head of Commercial Operations, International, A+E Networks. “In addition, the acquisition and partnership underscore A+E Networks’ commitment to creating high quality content and growing the relevance of the History and Lifetime brands among Korean audiences. All of this on the back of two well-penetrated local channels that give us powerful launch pads for our brands, both corporately for A+E Networks as well as for History and Lifetime. We look forward to working closely with IHQ to execute on this vision.”