Sony Pictures Television Japan (SPTVJ) has announced plans to launch an animation channel in South Korea, its first move to operate an overseas TV station.

SPTVJ, which is a satellite broadcasting arm of US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, has begun talks with local Korean partners and expects to see the channel distributed by cable. Korea has 1.3 million cable households.

Japanese programming has been banned from Korean TV for many years. But with the thawing cultural climate between the two countries Japanese programmes are now beginning to be shown. The SPTVJ channel could also serve as a platform to deliver Sony's Hollywood movie content and its growing slate of Asian-made films.

The channel has some 1.2 million subscribers in its native Japan.