Through Celestial Pictures, its 100% owned subsidiary in Hong Kong, Malaysia's pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks is poised to replicate its popular Celestial Movies channel in China.
According to William Pfeiffer, CEO of Celestial Pictures, the company is waiting for a decision on landing rights in China. If approved, Celestial hopes to launch the channel by the end of the year.
"China is a special focus for us. With its massive Chinese audience, it makes sense to match our Chinese film products with the Chinese audience," said Pfeiffer. Celestial Pictures has rights to the Shaw Brothers library -the world's largest Chinese films collection with more than 760 movie titles, including many classics of Hong Kong cinema.
China's Celestial Movies channel would run on an existing pay-TV platform and be made available in a package of 30 channels that charges subscribers a flat fee per month.
To manage the launch of Celestial Movies channel and other cross-media activities in China, Celestial Pictures is planning to set up offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is also looking into expanding its portfolio from film distribution to DVD distribution, co-productions as well as content acquisitions.