Europe's largest broadcaster, the RTL Group, and CBS Studios International have announced a partnership that will launch two channels in rapidly growing Southeast Asian markets.
The partners plan to make the two channels, RTL CBS Entertainment and RTL Extreme, available in English and local languages on cable, satellite and IPTV networks in up to 29 Asian markets including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Both of the channels will be available in the high-definition format.
As part of the effort, the companies are creating a Singapore-based company called RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, with a management team that will report to a board of directors made up of RTL and CBS Studios International executives.
Programming for the services will draw on first-run shows and library titles from RTL Group's content arm, FremantleMedia, and from CBS, which has a catalogue of more than 70,000 hours.
RTL CBS Entertainment will bow in early September, with such general-entertainment fare as RTL Group's The X Factor, America's Got Talent and Celebrity Apprentice, as well as such CBS shows as Elementary, Under the Dome and Late Show with David Letterman.
RTL CBS Extreme is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2014 with action/adventure, reality series and extreme sports.
In a statement, co-CEO of the RTL Group Guillaume de Posch noted that "by joining forces with such a renowned global partner, we are continuing our tried-and-tested build strategy, expanding our business to more countries in Asia with high growth potential. CBS is a highly creative and professional organization with world-leading content which complements FremantleMedia's catalogue very well."
RTL Group has interests in 53 television channels and 28 radio stations in ten countries and is active in the content production arena throughout the world via its FremantleMedia division.
"This is another opportunity to use CBS's internationally successful content to be part of a new channel venture in one of the world's fastest growing TV regions," added Armando Nunez, president and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group. "It's even better to do it with a best-in-class partner such as RTL Group, one of the most accomplished and respected broadcasters anywhere. We're excited to create an additive way to monetize our content in Asia and provide audiences throughout the region the best television from two of the world's most successful programming companies."