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A+E Networks expands into Korea, launches two of its channels

US-based global content company A+E Networks on Thursday has launched two of its TV channels in Korea with a plan to make Korea a content hub for original production across Asia.

A+E Networks is a joint venture between Hearst Communications and Disney-ABC Television Group, known for such cable networks such as A&E, History, Lifetime and Viceland. 

Kim Yoo-jung (Yonhap)
Kim Yoo-jung (Yonhap)

The company’s two new channel brands History and Lifetime will be broadcast on IPTV platforms, cables and satellite broadcast, while the brands also plan to launch their digital media platforms through YouTube, Naver TV, Facebook, Instagram and GomTV, said A+E Networks during a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. History and Lifetime will air the network’s original content produced in-house by A+E Studios for now, but plans to present South Korean-made content as well within this year.

History, which broadcasts documentary programs and historical fiction series, will focus on featuring liberal arts knowledge in the form of entertainment, targeting men aged between 25 and 45. Under the slogan “Knowledge is Fun,” the channel plans to air shows such as “The Reader,” where local hip-hop stars will talk about their life and music, and “History in a Bottle,” a talk show about Korean alcoholic drinks. Lifetime, channel that is geared toward featuring programs related to women in lead roles, will feature programs such as “Idol Mom” in cooperation with S.M. Entertainment, “Man VS Child,” as well as popular US drama series. Under the slogan “Find Yourself in Lifetime,” the channel appointed actress Kim Yoo-jung as its brand ambassador, aiming to raise awareness of women’s role and power in society.

“Marrying great global story telling with locally relevant content, we thought that it was a unique opportunity for partnership,” said Sean Cohan, president of international and digital media at A+E Networks during the press event.

“Expanding meaningfully in Korea right now felt like a natural extension or an evolution in our activities. It’s always been a great production market,” he added.

Soh Young-sun, head of A+E Networks Korea, also expressed hopes about A+E’s entrance into Korean markets, in that the media company would invest directly in the content production and distribution.
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