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Sony unearths GEM in Vietnam

Sony Pictures Television Networks is launching a new general entertainment channel in Vietnam as the territory’s pay TV advertising market booms.

The launch of GEM is SPT Networks’ second pay TV channel in Vietnam, following AXN. The network will run content from across Asia and launch in January 2014.

GEM also represents the second Asian content channel from SPT Networks. ONE, which offers Korean drama, music programming and variety shows, is already available in pay TV in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The move comes as Vietnam’s pay TV market continues its recent rapid growth. According to a recent study from Hong Kong analytics firm Media Partners Asia, the territory’s subscriber base will grow from 4.8 million in 2012 to 8.1 million by 2020, with advertising revenue expected to grow US$101 million to reach US$209 million in the same period,

“While there is an increasingly strong interest in Vietnam for scripted and non-scripted Asian general entertainment content, programming is available only intermittently on various platforms,” said Hui Keng Ang, senior VP, business operations, SPT Networks Asia. “With GEM, we are bringing Vietnamese audiences the best and most popular shows from across Asia on one dedicated channel.”

SPT Networks, SPT’s channels arm, also broadcasts beTV, Animax and Sony Entertainment Television in Asia. It also operates Indonesian telenovela joint venture network Televiva with Israel’s Dori Media Group.