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Cable Operators

Asian Channel Builds Its Brand Imaginatively

1/09/2005 7:00 PM Eastern

While it continues to negotiate carriage deals for its linear channel, upstart channel ImaginAsian TV is tapping other media platforms to market its brand and programming services.

Last week, the network became available to 340,000 Comcast Corp. digital-basic subscribers in systems serving Los Angeles, following an earlier rollout with the MSO in San Francisco.

Elsewhere, ImaginAsian TV president Michael Hong said the network has secured part-time carriage on several broadcast stations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and Ventura, Calif though an affiliation agreement with Equity Broadcast Stations. Overall, Hong estimates the network is reaching 2.5 million homes through its broadcast and cable deals. He added that the broadcast deals provide the network, aimed at the more than 12 million Asian Americans, with exposure it hopes to parlay into digital or analog carriage.

In addition to the broadcast outlets, the network has also opened a network-branded movie house in New York City. Last fall, it bowed ImaginAsian Radio, a weekly radio show on San Francisco station KSQQ to coincide with the network’s launch on the local Comcast system.

Hong said such efforts are meant to familiarize subscribers with the brand and hopefully energize a grassroots push for cable distribution. He added that advertisers have begun to support the network’s media marketing and branding efforts.

“If you’re going to be successful in this environment, you have to come to the table with some very creative marketing ideas as an enhancement,” Hong said. “It’s not just about showing the channel and hoping for a launch, because it’s just not done that way anymore.”

September