TV4 Entertainment original, Mothers & Daughters, starring Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon


Hyper-local boost for Asia streamers; new MCA-TV4 Entertainment venture kicks off in Asia

LA-based TV4 Entertainment is expanding into Asia Pacific in an exclusive alliance with Gregg Creevey’s Multi Channels Asia (MCA) that will develop the next generation of hyper-targeted niche channels in the region.  

The new partnership, Omni Channels Asia, is designed to strengthen local platforms’ access to specialty content made and packaged to cater to specific consumer interests.   

Omni Channels Asia will localise TV4 Entertainment’s original content and growing portfolio of speciality channels, as well as acquire home-grown content and develop new Asia originals with local production partners.

TV4 Entertainment currently operates 30 specialty targeted brands. The company says this will grow to 100 brands by 2020.

The initial suite of channels on the B2B OTT platform  in Asia includes Motorland, dedicated to cars and motorcycles; Screambox, focusing on horror films and series; from Apocalypse, with end of days movies; and the first global channel dedicated to guitars, the All Guitar Network.

There’s also home and garden shows on Inside Out, along with a series of sports networks covering boxing and other combat sports, esports, action sports and soccer, as well as a collection of culture focused networks covering food, cooking, drinking.

TV4 Entertainment Studio originals includes the US$2.3 million "Mothers & Daughters", with Sharon Stone, Susan Sarandon, Selma Blair, Mira Sorvino, Courtney Cox and Christina Ricci. The scripted feature interweaves stories of what it's like to be a mother.

Also among the feature film slate are "Together", the first of a slate targeting seniors. Starring Peter Bowles and Sylvia Syms, the film is the story of a couple, torn apart after 60 years of marriage, by a rigged healthcare system; and horror film "1974", based on the true story of the original inhabitants of the Amityville house.  

The Singapore-based joint venture is led by the existing MCA management team, under Creevey as managing director.

Creevey has long beat a drum in the TV/video space for speciality content, and, as consumers continue to migrate to mobile/online platforms, says the appetite is rising rapidly for thematic content and rich niche verticals among telcos, OTT platforms and others seeking to tap specialist audiences.

“What we are finding with OTT is that you can actually find a niche audience and superserve them based on their interests and passions,” he says, adding that “we believe there is life in linear based on a tighter niche offering of content”.

He’s also committed to a B2B model. “We have no interest in going direct to customers,” Creevey says.

Creevey describes the evolution of niche channels as “niche of niche”, saying that digitisation and fragmentation has made monetising hyper-targeted services possible.  

“If you are an aggregated consumer proposition, you can find your audience… These have a much stronger future than being a generic channel. As we have seen online and in the digital world, people are willing to pay a premium for something that is in tune with their interests and passions,” he says.

The Outdoor Channel will remain outside of the new partnership, with the possibility of creating a fishing vertical through Omni Channels.

An excerpt first appeared in ContentAsia's eNewsletter on 5 March 2018