History Channel breaks new ground

A&E Television Networks recently...
September 1, 2000

A&E Television Networks recently

took The History Channel into three new territories. Arutz Hahistoria (The History Channel in Hebrew) launched as a full channel in Israel in partnership with Tel-Ad Broadcasting, and a 12-hour channel broadcasting on the Star Digital platform is now available in Turkey due to an alliance with Istanbul-based Merkez Sistem Filmcilick. In an agreement with Sun Television Cybernetworks Holdings in Hong Kong, a three-hour programming block will broadcast to China under the History Channel banner.

Michael Katz, vice president of programming, production and marketing for AETN International, notes plans to turn China’s block into a full channel will depend on market conditions and the health of the outlet, but he suspects its progression will mirror that of the Japanese entity. The History Channel launched in Japan as a programming block in January 1999 and will become a full channel in 2001. Katz also says the channel will launch in India next, hopefully broadcasting to the region by the end of 2001.

‘We’re trying to build long-term networks as well as leveraging the brand,’ explains Katz. ‘The value comes from what we can generate in subscription fees and advertising.’ According to Katz, the level of acquisitions and commissions for original programming will depend on the resources and strength of the local partners and the channels.

Discovery Networks Europe also launched in Israel recently. Both The History Channel and Discovery broadcast to the region on the new YES DBS platform.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.