ImaginAsianTV is ramping up for an Aug launch, targeting Asians in the US with a broad mix of English-subtitled content. Led by CEO Michael Hong, the NY-based 24/7 linear network also will offer in-language marketing support (and a national call center) for cable operators, in addition to VOD content from its growing library of pan-Asian titles from Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and China (primarily Mandarin titles from CCTV with some Cantonese). That means American premieres of Asian films with a broad appeal plus other forms of general entertainment: series, variety and game shows, anime, kids’ titles, martial arts, docs and sports. All will be packaged for Asians in the US, officials say. Also on tap are original productions such as music, shopping and cooking shows from its Manhattan studios. The mix is aimed at the 85% of Asian-Americans who prefer in-language programming, while the use of subtitles and English-speaking hosts will appeal to second-generation Asian-American and non-Asian viewers, Hong says. The net’s now in latter-stage negotiations with cable operators, including Time Warner Cable, with which it has a hunting license (like many new nets, ImaginAsian isn’t seeking sub fees from MSOs for carriage). It also will launch in 1.6mln HHs with Equity Broadcasting Corp’s stations in Denver, Ventura, CA, and Las Vegas, where it will be available to Cox [COX] subs via must-carry. The net’s not alone, with at least 2 other Asian-focused nets launching this year. WorldAsia Television is eyeing a mid-’04 launch with English-language, Asian-oriented content. Recently launched on Comcast’s [CMCSA] San Fran system is Dragon TV, a subscription service aggregating Chinese- language content (with other Asian channels to follow). Mon’s CableFAX’s CableWORLD has more on startups. – (Shirley Brady)

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