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Discovery Networks plans expansion into South East Asia

MUMBAI: Discovery Networks Asia Pacific (DNAP) has revealed plans to invest in key markets across the region, to expand its presence and identify new opportunities for growth.

DNAP VP of affiliate sales Theresa Ong has been promoted to the newly created position of general manager for South East Asia (SEA), reporting to Rahul Johri, the executive vice president of South Asia and South East Asia.

Ong will be charged with establishing new local teams in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand—markets which have been identified as key future business drivers—with offices due to open in early 2015.

DNAP is also recruiting a new Korean country manager reporting to SVP North Asia Tommy Lin, as it looks to build presence in this market following the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement and the ease of restrictions on foreign broadcasters.

DNAP president Arjan Hoekstra said, “Discovery Communications’ leadership as the #1 pay TV programmer in the world is underpinned by our much-loved brands, unrivalled ability to tell great stories, and our understanding that our success is intrinsically linked to proximity to our audiences. We are a global company run by local experts, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to investing in key markets and supercharging growth across the region.”

Hoekstra added, “Theresa Ong is an outstanding media executive and will undoubtedly bring valuable experience as we establish new local hubs and deepen our expertise and relationships across South East Asia. I am also excited to identify a new leader in Korea and investing in this important market. All of these changes indicate our commitment to allocating resources in a manner that supports our ambitious plans for growth.”

Discovery Channel launched in Asia Pacific 20 years ago and has grown to a total of nine network brands delivered in 15 languages and dialects, via 51 local feeds, reaching 624 million cumulative subscribers across 37 countries and territories. Other global flagship brands available across Asia Pacific include TLC, Animal Planet, Science, Discovery Kids, and most recently, Eurosport, representing a must-have offering for affiliates, ad sales clients and viewers.

With its operating headquarters in Singapore and local offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Chennai, Delhi, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo, the new locations will bring Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s total office count to 16.