Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), the international TV arm of the Hollywood studio, is set to launch two channels via African pay TV operator Multichoice. It will introduce general entertainment channel Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and anime channel Animax later this year after inking a deal with the Naspers-owned operator.
Ross Hair, senior VP, international networks, SPTI, said that 25% of content on the SET channel will sourced from its parent company and 75% will be third-party acquisitions. "But this might be a little bit more towards Sony’s content because of the number of movies shown," he said. SET will acquire two to three of its parent company’s latest programmes before launch, as well tying up movie deals.
SPTI’s latest US big-ticket series include Cashmere Mafia, a female skewed entertainment show from Sex in the City creator Darren Star, legal drama Damages (pictured), starring Glen Close and Ted Danson, musical drama Viva Laughlin’ and crime thriller Canterbury’s Law.
Multichoice is ramping up its basic channel package as it faces stiff competition for the first time. African pay TV operator GTV launched a service in June after it acquired the rights to show English Premier League soccer. Meanwhile, a number of South African operators including incumbent telco Telkom South Africa, are set to be awarded a pay TV license after communications regulator ICASA signalled it was looking for applications.