A+E Networks Sets Course For Major Presence in South Korea
Deal Includes Wide Ranging Partnership with and Investment in IHQ, Inc. and Acquisition of Local Channels
NEW YORK (December 21, 2016) – A+E Networks® has committed to a major expansion of its footprint in South Korea via a partnership with entertainment media powerhouse, IHQ Inc., in which it will acquire a strategic stake. In addition, A+E will purchase two local channels – FoodTV and TVIS – which, via a partnership with IHQ and its majority shareholder, D’Live Co., Ltd., will be widely distributed across a range platforms to the market’s digitally savvy audience that includes more than 20 million homes. The announcement was made today by Edward Sabin, Executive Managing Director, International, A+E Networks and Mr. YJ Jeon, CEO of IHQ and D’Live.
TVIS and FoodTV are intended to be rebranded as A+E’s genre-defining global brands, HISTORY® and Lifetime® in 2017. With access to IHQ’s strong relationships with Korean talent and production capabilities, both channels will feature a significant pipeline of local original content alongside A+E’s blockbuster franchises.
A+E will launch digital content and products, and take advantage of Korea’s highly evolved digital ecosystem through its cooperation with IHQ. IHQ and A+E Networks will also work together to exploit regional growth opportunities for IHQ brands and content outside Korea.
“This is a broad and ambitious partnership that enables A+E Networks to create a content production engine across all platforms, and will provide growth opportunities across a region that is of critical strategic importance to us,” said Sabin. “In addition, the acquisition and partnership underscore A+E Networks’ commitment to creating high quality content and growing the relevance of the HISTORY® and Lifetime® brands among Korean audiences. All of this on the back of two well-penetrated local channels that give us powerful launch pads for our brands, both corporately for A+E Networks as well as for History and Lifetime. We look forward to working closely with IHQ to execute on this vision.”
“A+E Networks venture into the Korean market is truly a groundbreaking event. A deal of this significance is unprecedented in the Korean media and content market. It is also meaningful in that A+E Networks’ entry will pave the way for further advancement of the Korean content industry,” noted Mr. Jeon. “The alliance is also a major step forward for IHQ as it will help with our efforts to expand at the global level and enable IHQ to be more aggressive in expanding its content and media operations. Furthermore, we expect the strategic investment to further increase the potential value proposition of D’Live and IHQ.”
The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
About A+E Networks
A+E Networks®, LLC. is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from linear channels to websites, gaming, watch apps and educational software as well as SVOD products, including first-to-market Apps such as HISTORY Vault and Lifetime Movie Club. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E®, Lifetime®, History®, LMN®, FYI™, VICELAND, H2™, A+E Studios™, History en Espaňol™, Crime + Investigation™, Military History™, Lifetime Real Women®, A&E IndieFilms®, A+E Networks International®, A+E Networks Digital® and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 335 million households in over 200 territories and 41 languages. A+E Networks, LLC. is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aenetworks and Facebook at facebook.com/AENetworks/.
About D’Live Co. / IHQ Inc.
D’Live is one of the largest cable and OTT service provider in Korea with its operations based in the Seoul metropolitan area with approximately 2.3 million subscribers. D’Live was also selected the first Netflix partner in Korea.
IHQ has been one of the most prominent players in Korean entertainment field. Through a recent merger with CU Media, IHQ has grown into a fully-integrated entertainment and media group that has complete control over talent management, content production and channel operation. IHQ’s core business areas are comprised of two main divisions; entertainment division that manages talents as well as drama production, and media division that operates the 6 channels and in-house content production.