Net in Works for Asian Americans

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Former Paramount, Spelling Entertainment and TBS Media Management executive Michael Hong is leading an effort to launch a new network targeted at Asian Americans.
New York-based ImaginAsian TV, which Mr. Hong aims to launch in August, is looking for carriage on cable digital basic tiers, but its first distribution will be over broadcast. Equity Broadcasting Corp. has agreed to carry the 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week channel on its stations KTVY-TV, Las Vegas; KIMG-TV, Ventura, Calif., and KKTU-DT, Denver. Mr. Hong, whose resume includes jobs at Nielsen Media Research and Worldvision, is ImaginAsian Entertainment’s CEO.
He said he has had promising talks with multiple cable system operators with systems in markets that are home to significant parts of the country’s Asian population of 14 million. Mr. Hong called the Asian American population an underserved market segment.
The channel will be entirely ad-supported at first, he said.
Mr. Hong said the company has already spent about $2 million, raised through private equity, and will spend $10 million to $12 million during the next year to launch the channel. It has 15 full-time employees and expects to have 50 at launch.
ImaginAsian TV’s programming is designed to appeal to 18- to 34-year-olds of Chinese, Filipino, Southern Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese ethnicity.
The shows will run in English or with English subtitles.