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Star World to Become FOX life in Asia


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The Star World channel, which first launched in 1995, is being rebranded by FOX Networks Group Asia (FNGA) as FOX life on October 1.

The revamped network will feature a new identity, tagline (Turn On) and logo. Its programming will target a variety of females while also offering up co-viewing opportunities. As a sub-brand of the FOX entertainment channel, FOX life will air a combination of U.S. dramas and comedies, including Empire, New Girl and Grey’s Anatomy, and locally produced series such as Asia’s Next Top Model and Bolt of Talent, as well as U.S. awards shows like the Emmys, among many other popular programs.

Dean Dezius, the VP of entertainment channels, content and communication, commented: “We are operating in a very competitive market and it is important that our channel along with every part of our entertainment output evolves and innovates to keep pace with our audience. The change to FOX life bolsters the FNGA portfolio and matures the brand, allowing for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape.

“We have incredibly strong content coming through over the next year, and our mission will be to ensure the content is linked to FOX life and the global FNGA brand encouraging a re-appraisal of the brand. The new brand will promote our desired state of high-quality entertainment across various genres, across the region.”

Meanwhile, FNGA’s National Geographic is gearing up to debut Mission Saturn, a new documentary highlighting NASA’s efforts to put the Cassini spacecraft into Saturn’s orbit for the first time. The Cassini is the biggest and most complex interplanetary spacecraft NASA has ever built. It will make its final orbit and dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, attempting to survive as it descends into the planet it has been studying. Mission Saturn will showcase same-day footage as the Cassini mission comes to an end on September 15. The doc will premiere on Saturday, September 16, at 10 p.m. on Nat Geo in Hong Kong.

In other news at FNGA, Mike Whittaker has been appointed executive VP, chief technology officer for the Asia Pacific and Middle East. He will be the top technology officer at FNGA, with overall responsibility to craft, socialize and champion an integrated technological strategy and vision. He will supervise the BTO and IT teams and will report to Zubin Gandevia, the president of FOX Networks Group Asia.

Earlier in his career, Whittaker was consulting with ITV on their PPV sports strategy and operation. He has also served in senior technology and operational positions at Sports Information Services, Technicolour Broadcast Services and Orbit Showtime Network. He also worked at BBC in the U.K. as head of operations, strategy and technology support.

Gandevia stated: “With the launch of FOX+ and other exciting technology changes afoot, FOX Network Group Asia’s digital business and technology is growing rapidly in Asia and our success depends in large part on having the right leaders in place. We are pleased to have someone of Mike’s caliber join us to head up the technology side. Over the past few years, FNGA has set new standards in delivering value to our clients and employees across the region and I have no doubt he will take our digital technology forward rapidly.”

Whittaker added: “I’m delighted to have joined FOX Network Groups Asia at such an exciting time for the company. The quality of global technology has never been better and FNGA is perfectly positioned to drive better outcomes for consumers across Asia with their ambitious plans in the digital distribution and technology arenas.”



About Joanna Padovano Tong

Joanna Padovano Tong is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at jpadovano@worldscreen.com.

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