In a move that it says makes it the top Asian pay-TV destination for Marvel live action series and films, FOX International Channels (FIC) has acquired a raft of series in a deal with Disney Media Distribution (DMD).
The acquisition, which FIC says is in line with its commitment to providing audiences across Asia with the best content from Hollywood and the US, brings the 21st Century Fox subsidiary exclusive first-window pay-TV rights in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia for some of DMD's most popular series content. This includes Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Killer Women and Trophy Wife.
The content acquisition, says FIC, builds on the parties' current output deal which grants FIC the exclusive first window pay-TV rights for Marvel's live action features on FOX Movies Premium movies channel. Citing evidence of Marvel's strong draw and popularity in the region, FIV noted that the studio's blockbuster film Iron Man 3 pulled in a $345.1 million in box office sales across Asia Pacific over 2013. FIC believes that it has the ability to cross-promote its content across numerous platforms and that its channel brands of all genres will help to drive affinity to Marvel as well as attract new audiences and fans, making the regional broadcasting a unique, top-tier partner.
Star attraction in the agreement is Joss Wheadon's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered in the US as TV's highest-rated new drama in nearly four years according to Nielsen Fast Affiliate Live & Same Day Ratings on 24 September 2013. The show will air on FOX in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, and on STAR Movies in Taiwan.
Commenting on the deal, Joon Lee, executive vice president of content and communications, Asia Pacific and the Middle East at FOX International Channels, said: "The acquisition of these great shows builds on our strength as the leading pay-TV network in the region. Through our close partnership with DMD, we are able to present our viewers with more of what they love, such as the hugely successful Marvel live action series and movies, along with a wide variety of other top-rated television programmes."
Added Amit Malhotra, VP, programme distribution, Disney Media Distribution, Asia Pacific: "We are pleased to continue our long relationship with FIC which allows us to bring the best of US TV to consumers here in Asia with programmes from Disney, ABC and Marvel. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the first live action series from Marvel and we are extremely excited to bring it to consumers via FIC's platforms in the region."