In yet another move to forge a new image, Burbank public TV outlet KCETLink made a deal last week to broadcast a 24-hour channel originating from Japan.
Under the deal, it will carry English-language programming around the clock from the Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, beginning next month. The shows will air on KCET’s digital channel 28.4. Viewers can find the channel through their cable guides.
Mare Mazur, chief operating officer at KCETLink, said it’s an effort to build out the station’s focus on the Pacific Rim and help the station appeal to the sizable Asian-American demographic in Southern California.
“I looked at this as a complement to the kind of work that we’ve done,” she said. “This felt like an opportunity to round out the programming. We serve the most diverse area on the planet. It gives us a broad palette to paint on.”
The station already broadcasts some NHK programming such as “Journeys in Japan” on its main channel. Mazur said the expansion was due in part to the popularity of those shows.
The new programming block is called NHK World TV and includes “Newsline,” along with lifestyle and cultural shows such as “Tokyo Eye” and “Dining With the Chef.” There will also be documentaries and specials.
The programming replaces MHz Worldview on the digital dial, an internationally minded array of news, documentaries and other cultural programming that comes from Washington, D.C., non-profit broadcaster MHz Networks.
For KCETLink, it’s another step toward building out its new identity as a purveyor of local, national and international programming. When the station dropped out of the PBS network in 2010, it was left with a major void in content. (PBS affiliates typically get about 70 percent of programming from the network.)
In the time since, KCET has needed to build a brand as an independent station. Last year, it merged with Bay Area public TV satellite network Link TV. The deal, which did not involve a financial transaction, gave KCET national distribution on satellite networks and access to new content.
The NHK deal took the form of a marketing partnership. For example, NHK will begin taking out print, cable TV and radio ads next month to promote the launch of the programming block.
Westlake Village in-flight entertainment firm Global Eagle Entertainment has expanded into Chinese airspace.
Global Eagle’s founders, meanwhile, are already eyeing their next deal.
Global Eagle will work with state-owned telecom firm China Telecom Satellite Communications Co. to equip Chinese airlines with Wi-Fi and entertainment options. The deal also covers some non-Chinese airlines that fly into and over China.
Global Eagle is offering the connectivity services through its Row 44 subsidiary.
Global Eagle is headed up by former MGM studio Chief Executive Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, a film finance veteran. The duo raised $190 million in a 2011 IPO that helped the company fund the acquisition of Westlake Village in-flight connectivity and entertainment firm Row 44 and take a majority stake in German in-flight entertainment firm Advanced Inflight Alliance AG.
Also last week, Global Eagle announced that it closed on the $24 million acquisition of Post Modern Group, a Burbank production and postproduction company that also serves cruise ships with content management and technical services.
Sloan and Sagansky also said they will go shopping yet again with a new blank-check company, Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp., which will raise funds for acquisitions and other deals.
Silver Eagle hopes to raise $250 million for mergers or acquisitions in the media and entertainment industries. It will offer 25 million units at $10, giving investors one share of common stock and a warrant to purchase a half-share at $5.75.
Glendale cable channel NuvoTV underwent an overhaul this year after bringing in big financing and hiring new execs.
This week, its makeover will show up on the screen.
The channel was scheduled to have its official relaunch July 18.
with the debut of one new series and four specials.
The programming includes a dance and music show featuring Jennifer Lopez – who is chief creative officer at Nuvo – along with an interview special, “Mario Lopez: One-on-One.”
The idea is to create English-language programming that will be appealing to a young generation of Latinos who speak English and are plugged into pop culture.
The overhaul follows the appointment earlier this year of Lopez as an executive, as well as the hiring of former Comedy Central executive Bill Hillary as head of programming.
Last year, the channel announced it raised $40 million to expand its programming. Lopez also invested in the channel.
Staff reporter Jonathan Polakoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.
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