The A+E Networks channels HISTORY and Lifetime are extending their reach into South Korea, where the company has unveiled new plans to ramp up original production.
HISTORY and Lifetime will reach Korean customers across all platforms, including TV, digital media and offline venues. For linear TV, carriage has been secured to reach 20 million homes across the country through the IPTV platforms, all major cable platforms and satellite broadcasting. The brands will also be launched simultaneously on digital media through YouTube, Naver TV, Facebook, Instagram and GomTV.
A+E Networks announced an initial launch slate of original content across a mix of genres for both channels, and more originals are set to come. The shows will premiere throughout October and into March.
HISTORY will showcase premium documentary series, information-based reality programs, drama series and more. It will also offer a variety of brand activities for viewers. In particular, it launched the HISTORY Room Escape Con on October 13. The first original series for the local channel is HISTORY in a Bottle (Malsul Club), a talk show about traditional Korean alcoholic drinks. Also slated to premiere is The Reader, a digital short-form series that will feature ten renowned Korean hip-hop artists such as Nucksal, Tiger JK and Cheetah discussing their life stories.
Lifetime features stories of women, their potential and inner beauty. The channel will provide viewers with reality programs and dramas. Well-known Korean actress Kim Yoo-jung has been appointed as its brand ambassador. Lifetime will also launch a variety of digital and offline campaigns to showcase Korean women on their journeys of self-discovery. For the channel, the first two original productions are an adaptation of the popular webtoon The Best Moment to Quit My Job and Idol Moms, a competitive reality show inspired by the global A+E hit franchise Dance Moms. The Best Moment… is a co-production with SK Bradband, while SM C&C will be the production company for Idol Moms.
A+E has signed an agreement with iHQ for format development. Two projects have been shortlisted and aim to begin production by the end of this year: Man vs. Child, in which talented children face off with adult chefs, and Alone, a global hit featuring survival in the wild.
The content produced in Korea will be represented by A+E Networks for global distribution of both original shows and remake opportunities. They will also air across A+E media brands, including Lifetime and HISTORY, throughout the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia.
Sean Cohan, the president of international and digital media at A+E Networks, stated, “The Korean market’s rich storytelling tradition and appreciation for history is a great match with A+E’s own heritage in compelling and quality storytelling. The digital maturity of the market allows us great opportunities to have a direct dialogue with consumers in different formats, platforms and technologies. Finally, Korean production has made its mark on the global content community. I look forward to A+E Korea’s team and productions making a tremendous impact on our global brands and content everywhere in the world.”
Youngsun Soh, the general manager of A+E Networks Korea, said, “A+E’s venture into the Korean market is particularly meaningful in that it is the first case in which a global media company not only operates channels in Korea but also invests directly in the content production and distribution as well. We expect that the cooperative work between Korea and A+E, which has a global network, will have a positive influence on local companies, including platform companies and content production agencies, in their expansion to the global market.”