KC Global Media, a leading multi-territory operator of linear TV channels in Asia, has sold Animax Korea to Aniplus, an Asian multinational television channel and anime distributor based in Singapore and South Korea.

The deal “aims to elevate Animax Korea’s offerings while focusing on horizontally integrating its content across Aniplus’ platform and reach,” the companies said.

The deal was agreed in April, but was subject to regulatory approvals. These have now been obtained.

Deal terms were not disclosed. But sources close to the transaction suggest that it was valued at some KRW46 billion ($35.5 million).

The channel was launched in 2006 and positions itself as the country’s leading kids’ entertainment channel. It carries premium animations from Japan, Korean licensors and around the world. This includes local gaming contents for kids with pay-TV rights, simulcasting the latest Japanese anime with exclusive pay-TV and VOD rights.

The channel provides 4 to 5 fresh titles per month for kids and 6 to 10 new anime titles quarterly, targeting 15+year old viewers, and is available in Japanese and Korean.

Animax Korea was previously jointly operated by Sony Pictures Television International and KT Skylife and started out as a channel that was exclusive to Skylife, but its footprint expanded when KT launched IPTV service Olleh.

KC Global acquired Animax Korea in 2020 as part of a package of linear channels that were sold by Sony that also included AXN-branded channels in the region, and Korea’s Sony One entertainment channel.
KC Global is headed by former Sony Television senior executives Andy Kaplan and George Chien, who take the view that – even in the age of streaming – there is enduring life in linear channels if they are managed correctly.

Disney recently announced the closure later this year of a handful of its remaining linear channels in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.

“Closing this deal with a suitable partner like Aniplus will elevate the Animax Korea brand to enhance and grow the channel further across their platform,” said Chien, co-founder, president, and CEO of KC Global Media. “South Korea is an important market for KC Global Media, and we will continue to enhance our presence here. Our regional distribution of Korean content is and will continue to be an important priority, as we leverage on our strong relationships with studios, talents, and broadcasters in South Korea.”

The proceeds of the sale are expected to be directed towards a mix of content production for KC Global’s other channels and possible acquisitions.

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