Byravee Iyer
Aug 1, 2013

Turner outlines plans for Asia despite recent redundancies

ASIA-PACIFIC - Turner International Asia Pacific's launch yesterday of kid's channel Boomerang in Thailand is part of a wider and ongoing plan to increase penetration in the region despite recent staff reductions, company executives assert.

An example of Boomerang programming
An example of Boomerang programming

The launch of Boomerang comes after Turner International APAC laid-off a third (240 employees) of its workforce after a two-month review of its business. The company attributed it to creating a “leaner central structure” that would help double revenues by 2020.

The free-sat channel is expected to reach about 11 million households in Thailand next month. Executives at Turner estimate that the free-satellie segment of the market is growing about 8 per cent and could touch 13 million in the near term.

Turner will be looking at launching other channels across genres both in Thailand and the region through local partnerships, Steve Marcopoto, Turner’s president and MD, told Campaign Asia-Pacific in a telephone interview. Marcopoto declined to comment on when this is likely to happen.

Within Southeast Asia Pacific (as Turner refers to it), Australia is the company’s largest market while Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand are also fairly important in terms of size and scope.

Boomerang will be available in the Thai language from 14 August and will be the first international kids’ channel on a free cable and satellite platform. The channel will be locally operated by a subsidiary of Major Kantana Broadcasting Co., Ltd (MKB) and supported by M Turner Co., Ltd., a new joint venture being established in Thailand by Turner Asia Pacific Ventures, Inc. and MKB.

Steve Marcopoto

According to Sunny Saha, SVP and MD, entertainment networks for Turner APAC, local partner MKB was chosen for its strong local expertise. “MKB is the top player when it comes to cinema channels and entertainment zones and as a result has a lot of consumer touchpoints that cater to a young audience, which will help promote our brand.”

Turner reiterated its commitment to Thailand by announcing the launch of a Cartoon Network themed park near Pattaya. The branded park is to launch in December 2013.

In other developments, the company recently appointed Robi Stanton to take on a new role as VP sales and marketing for SEA. She will relocate to Singapore in September. The former GM of Turner’s business in Australia will oversee Cartoon Network, Cartoonito, Boomerang, TCM, TruTV and Adultswim. Stanton will also be responsible for CNN and HLN network and content distribution in the Southeast Asia Pacific region.

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