ATF Buyer Profile: SPT’s Yan-Jong Wong


PREMIUM: Yan-Jong Wong at Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia is charged with finding high-quality shows for a diverse bouquet of pan-regional pay-TV channels, among them AXN and SET.

Yan-Jong Wong, Vice President, Programming, English Content, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia

What kinds of things are you looking for to air on Sony’s channel brands in Asia
Sony Pictures Television’s networks in Asia are constantly on the lookout for high quality shows that are on brand with each of our channels.
As Southeast Asia’s most watched English general-entertainment channel, AXN brings viewers on a thrilling ride with the best and most impactful new and returning hit drama series, reality shows, blockbuster movies and AXN original productions.
AXN Beyond is a refreshingly feel-good English general-entertainment channel offering an unexpected and compelling mix of U.S. and U.K. hit shows. Dramas, comedies, musicals, movies, reality and talk shows on the network are engaging, surprising, and driven by strong emotional connection with viewers.
Sony Entertainment Television (SET) serves up television centering on female-skewing interests, including fashion, lifestyle, design, food, romance and celebrity gossip. Its programming lineup includes fun and engaging drama series, trendy lifestyle reality shows and celebrity-driven programs.
Animax offers anime programs from a variety of genres to cater to viewers across different demographics. The channel airs some of the most popular and latest anime TV series, including selected shows that are simulcast in the same day or week of Japanese premieres.
ONE is the first Asian general-entertainment channel from Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia, with a focus on prime Korean content. As the exclusive destination of programs produced by Seoul-based content supplier and broadcaster SBS through an output deal, ONE airs the latest Korean drama series, with selected titles premiering 3 to 5 weeks after their debut broadcasts in South Korea. Hip K-pop variety and music shows complement its drama lineup.
What have been some of your most successful acquisitions recently?
New vocal talent contest series The Voice featuring Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton as coaches to America’s emerging singing talents has been a success on AXN. With its unique competition format, The Voice has taken viewers on a thrilling emotional ride on AXN and we are looking forward to bringing the second season to the region next year.
Falling Skies, the science-fiction drama series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, has been a hit on AXN Beyond, especially in the Philippines. The post apocalyptic alien invasion series starring Noah Wyle was the top- rated show of the week on the channel among all Filipino cable viewers for the first three episodes of the series.
Going forward, we are very excited about the upcoming AXN original series The Firm, which will be a sophisticated, stylish and edge-of-your-seat drama. Based on John Grisham’s best-selling novel, and sequel to the 1993 film of the same title, The Firm stars Josh Lucas as Mitch McDeere, an attorney looking to reclaim his life after enduring a difficult decade for bringing down a law firm that was a front for the Chicago mob.
What kinds of formats are you looking for?
Reality formats continue to be a focus for our networks. We are currently into the second season of the Indian adaptation of the Minute to Win It reality contest format, with the new series having premiered in October 2011 on AXN India.
As a firm believer in creating our own content, Sony Pictures Television’s networks, Asia is a leader in pan-regional original English entertainment productions including four successful seasons of the Emmy-nominated The Amazing Race Asia, Cash Cab Asia, Cyril: Simply Magic and the Golden Bell Award-winning LaMB.
AXN is also home to other Asian original entertainment productions including The Contender Asia and The Challenger Muaythai from Imagine Group and The Kitchen Musical from The Group Entertainment.
We are constantly on the lookout for fresh and innovative ideas in production that can excite audiences and advertisers. The challenge is to be able to bring on board advertisers’ brands and products in a big way, without compromising the quality of the production and the entertainment experience for viewers.
Are you increasing your programming budget next year?
We are certainly willing to invest in high quality programs that are on brand with our channels in the market.
Is there anything specific you’re looking for at ATF?
We see Asia Television Forum as an excellent opportunity to meet with some of the independent studios as well as a platform to tie up some of the ongoing acquisition negotiations for the year.