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MIPCOM 2014: Spark, Astro Malaysia & Moving Visuals join hands to launch Spark Asia

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CANNES: Spark, Astro Malaysia and Moving Visuals International (MVI) have signed a joint venture to set-up Asia's first dedicated HD factual and documentary channel, Spark Asia.

The JV was signed on the first day of MIPCOM 2014.

The channel, which will go live in the first half of 2015, will offer a wide variety of exclusive Asian and global HD content. In addition, Spark Asia will empower the local community of producers and filmmakers by offering an alternative platform to showcase their documentaries and through various training initiatives.

Leveraging on the strengths of its joint venture partners, the new channel will have both linear TV and digital content that will resonate among audiences across Asia. Spark Asia will promote knowledge; celebrate Asian values and traditions and bring Asia to the world in an exciting way. The content will include genres like science & technology, exploration, history, environment, nature and wildlife. The channel will also draw its programming from the vast library of Autentic and ZDF Enterprises.

Asia is the latest launch of the factual entertainment brand Spark, which is also available in Eastern Europe as well as in Africa.

Astro Malaysia CEO Rohana Rozhan said, "As one of Southeast Asia's leading content and consumer companies, Astro is always exploring new ways to meet the audiences' changing preferences. With the growing interest in Asian content, there is a huge opportunity in Asian factual content that resonates not only with audiences in Asia but around the world. In line with our strength in the creation of IPs and content brands we believe that the aggregation of Asian-centric stories and factual content in an Asian branded documentary channel is timely and has tremendous potential. This joint venture with like-minded partners enables Astro to take a stake in content that will resonate in Asia and around the world."

MVI director Galen Yeo added, "As the world's most populous continent, Asia has long deserved a channel to harness its thriving diversity of culture, history, people and stories. We are pleased to work together with Spark GmbH and Astro on this landmark venture to promote Asian documentary filmmaking, and provide producers a unique platform that will support and promote their work to audiences all across Asia. Spark Asia welcomes opportunities to collaborate and work together with storytellers from around Asia and the world."

Spark GmbH CEO Patrick Hoerl said, "Being close to our viewers' lives and hearts has always been at the core of the Spark brand. We can only deliver on that promise, if we team up with the best experts in our business in each region we operate in. It's hard to think of better partners than Astro and Moving Visuals for a truly Asian channel."

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