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A+E preps FYI international launches

A+E Networks will launch its FYI channel into new international territories and will also look at taking greater control of some of its joint venture channels operations this year.

Sean CohanA+E rebranded its US Bio channel in the US as lifestyle service FYI and the new brand launched last year. It is also carried in Canada and Southeast Asia, but the channel operator is looking at rolling out elsewhere this year.

A+E’s executive VP, international, Sean Cohan told TBI: “We think that within the food and lifestyle category, there is room for FYI in other places and there will be a measured [international] launch while it is still ramping up in the US.”

Meanwhile, A+E will seek to take greater control of some its international channel JVs.

The channels group historically sought to find a local partner before entering a market, but last year launched its first owned and operated service Europe with the launch of A+E Networks Italy, as first reported by TBI. It also bought its local partner, Astro, out of a Southeast Asian channels JV.

“We will look at getting to majority ownership or better in some instances, that could be increasing our stakes [in JVs] or going to owned and operated,” Cohan said. “It is easier to integrate the businesses and the more leverage you have.”

The company’s current partnerships include JVs with AMC Networks in Iberia, NBCUniversal in Germany, TV18 in Indian and Sky in the UK and Europe.

Cohan said the company is aiming to have a 3-to-6 strong bouquet of channels in international markets. Its core brands are History, Crime + Investigation, H2, Lifetime and, since late 2013, A&E.