Dec 11, 2014

    DreamWorks TV channel for children in Asia soon


    DREAMWORKS Animation SKG will offer a children's television channel in 19 Asian countries by the second half of next year, the first TV channel for the movie studio which 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 in a statement on Tuesday.

    DreamWorks Animation will also pull programming from a catalogue that includes Casper The Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.

    The studio has expanded to television, toys and online video to reduce its reliance on film, which is a cyclical business with thin profit margins.

    After more than a decade of producing successful films, the company has taken writedowns 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 does not have the support of a larger corporation like Walt Disney, has discussed a sale with Softbank and Hasbro 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 would 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 because Netflix doesn't operate in any of its initial 19 markets.