Eyeballs sought for online TV
ETHNIC groups in America are growing rapidly and businesses aimed at serving them are expanding rapidly as well.
Singapore-based Amaru Inc., a broadband entertainment company, is ramping up its U.S. presence in order to go after the minds, hearts, eyeballs and wallets of Asian immigrants -- especially 20- to 30-year-old working Asian expats.
The company offers some free programming via its online portal, but also sells expanded choices and videoconferencing capabilities to families wanting to talk with folks back home.
Online content can be viewed on television, rather than computer screen, via a monthly subscription for a proprietary set-top box called Pony.
Amaru's 71 channels of programming on m2btv include shows on China, Asian cooking, Asian period dramas and lifestyle shows.
Its providers include the Korean Broadcasting System and Sony Pictures.
Despite the seeming competitive nature of the businesses, Amaru Chief Executive Colin Binny is approaching cable companies to try and negotiate carriage of m2btv content on an on-demand basis, according to a company statement.
Amaru plans aggressive marketing in 14 U.S. cities beginning with Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, but as for any Hawaii plans, Binny could not be reached.
TV and paper split
KHNL-TV and the Honolulu Advertiser have parted company, at least, as exclusive media convergence partnerships go.
With the video world getting more into print work and the print world getting more into video, both companies decided amicably to move forward in its own direction, said John Fink, vice president and general manager of KHNL-TV and sister station KFVE-TV.
The split does not preclude either company from joining together on community or other projects in the future and "it was very clear there would be opportunities," Fink said.
Advertiser President and Publisher Mike Fisch could not be reached.
The Honolulu situation mirrors a similar break, reported by industry newsletter TV Business Confidential yesterday -- but that situation bears a different, more dramatic dynamic.
KSL television and radio in Salt Lake City have discontinued some news sharing with the Deseret Morning News over differences that arose between them, TVBC reported. All three media outlets are owned by the Mormon Church.
In a memo to his staff, KSL-TV News Director Con Psarras indicated several factors led to the breakup. Newspaper Managing Editor Rick Hall, in his own staff memo, cited unhappiness at KSL over "some of our recent convergence speed bumps, road blocks and/or obstacles."
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com