IATV and Toykopop Enter into Multi-Faceted Licensing and Joint Sales Agreement
Effective Immediately iaTV, the Only 24/7 Network in the U.S. for Asian Pop Culture, Will Begin Selling a Diverse Range of
Digital Media Assets from Manga Pioneer TOKYOPOP
Companies Also Enter Into Unique Program License Agreements with the Hit Animated Series Initial D, the Pro Wrestling/Sports Entertainment
Series FMW Wrestling and Several Short-Form Innovative Animated “iManga” Programs to Air as Part of the iaTV PRIMETIME Block
NEW YORK, AUGUST 19, 2008 – iaTV® (www.iaTV.tv), America's only 24/7 television network for Asian pop culture, today announced a program acquisition deal and strategic ad sales partnership with TOKYOPOP® (www.TOKYOPOP.com), the leading publisher and distributor of manga-oriented entertainment. This was announced by Adam Ware, president of iaMedia, the television, radio and digital media unit of ImaginAsian Entertainment, Inc. and Stu Levy, TOKYOPOP's CEO and CCO.
Through this agreement, iaTV's ad sales team will represent the advertising sales activities for TOKYOPOP's digital assets including www.TOKYOPOP.com, brand integration within original and user-generated video content, mobile advertising and other applications. TOKYOPOP.com averages over five million page views per month and over 400,000 unique visitors (according to Google Analytics), 70 percent of which are in the valuable tween and teenage demographics, and 60 percent of which are female.
Programming acquired by iaTV from TOKYOPOP includes two popular Japanese anime series – Initial D and Psychic Academy – and anime film Spring and Chaos have also been acquired, with Initial D being televised Monday through Friday, beginning September 1, at 5:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. PT and Psychic Academy joining the network's Tuesday primetime A-Pop lineup at 10:30 p.m. PT on September 9. Also coming to iaTV are several short-form (three- to four-minute) ‘iManga’ series: bite-sized programs based on TOKYOPOP's top manga titles, combining animation with still art, music and English voiceovers. In addition, iaTV has acquired the hardcore FMW Wrestling, which will air Fridays at 10 p.m. PT starting September 12, leading out of Pancrase: Legends of Mixed Martial Arts, and creating of a two-hour primetime block of male skewing sports entertainment.
“We are thrilled to be in business with TOKYOPOP,” said Mr. Ware, ”as it further establishes iaTV as the television leader for Asian Pop Culture. TOKYOPOP's digital assets – including their unique library of Manga animated series – represent a unique opportunity for iaTV to offer advertisers a fully integrated cross-platform solution to reach the millions of Asian Pop Culture fans in the U.S.”
Mr. Ware continued, ”I am particularly excited about bringing a new form of animation to television in the form of TOKYOPOP's short form manga series. Every time I walk into a book store many of TOKYOPOP's titles are featured in the front and now we will have the opportunity to feature them on iaTV in primetime. In addition, we are pleased to be broadcasting one of the original hardcore brands of pro wrestling and sports entertainment to American television. FMW will air Friday nights at 10 p.m., offering WWE fans the opportunity to tune to iaTV after they finish watching SMACKDOWN on MyNetwork TV earlier that night. Pro wrestling continually ranks as one of the top rated programs on cable network television.”
Stu Levy added, “TOKYOPOP has always been committed to bridging the cultures between East and West, and we are excited to enter into a deal with a partner dedicated to the same goals, iaTV. The Manga Lifestyle is about expressing yourself, whether that be as an extreme pro wrestling fan, a shojo manga fan, action manga, or fantasy manga fan. As TOKYOPOP brings manga to both the small and big screens, iaTV viewers will be there to witness all the fun!”
Following are synopses of the newly-acquired programs:
(22 episodes x 60 minutes)
FMW, or Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, is hardcore wrestling at its best. Featuring legends such as Hayabusa, Mr. POGO, Leatherface, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, and Kintaro Kanemura, this exciting sport will leave you breathless and wanting more.
(41 episodes x 30 min.)
Japan, English Subtitled
Created from one of Japan's most popular manga, Initial D follows high school student Takumi Fujiwara, a tofu delivery boy whose driving skills are honed as he makes deliveries every day on Mt. Akina. When the local racing team finds itself in need of a replacement, they turn to Takumi, despite his lack of interest in the sport. Soon after his victory, racing groups from all over Japan come to challenge him. But when the 'White Comet of Akagi,' master racing driver Ryosuke Takahashi, challenges him, will Takumi have what it takes to win and become the legendary ‘Ghost of Akina’?
(8 episodes x 30 minutes)
Japan, English Subtitled
Psychic Academy follows Ai Shiomi, a young boy who possesses psychic abilities known as 'aura power.' After much persuasion from his parents, Ai attends the prestigious Psychic Academy, where specially gifted students learn how to control the abilities that allow them to have power over elements. With his newfound friends, Orina and Myuu, and under the tutelage
of his legendary older brother Zero, Ai learns about his rare ability while researchers try to artificially awaken the dormant aura genes in all humans, no matter how destructive the cost may be.
Spring and Chaos
(1 episode x 60 minutes)
Japan, English Subtitled
Directed by one of the premiere directors in anime, Shoji Kawamori, who is famous for Macross, Escaflowne, Aquarion, amongst others. Set in the beginning of 20th Century Japan, this film follows the bright and eccentric Kenji from his late student years through his adulthood. Kenji suffers the tragedy of being an artist whose art isn't recognized during his lifetime. Based on the life of the author Kenji Miyazawa, Spring and Chaos depicts his brief but intense existence.
Bizenghast (iManga Series)
(17 x 2 to 3 minute episodes)
In the run-down New England town of Bizenghast, Dinah, a disturbed young woman, enters into a bargain with an afterlife bureaucracy that she never could have imagined. Along with her best friend, Vincent, Dinah is tasked to go to the mysterious Sunken Mausoleum every night and set one of the tormented souls to rest. If she succeeds, she goes free. If she fails, she becomes part of the horrific mausoleum herself.
Gyakushu! (iManga Series)
(13 x 2 to 3 min episodes)
After stealing a priceless treasure, a nameless Thief's family is slaughtered and his home destroyed. Burned beyond recognition and left for dead, the Thief rises from the ashes to stain his steel with the blood of his enemies. But the path to vengeance is a treacherous one, as each step is filled with shocking revelations not only about the Thief, but his enemies as well. The only certain thing in this world of ice and death is white-hot revenge.
Princess Ai (iManga Series)
(8 x 2 to 3 min episodes)
Ai, a beautiful young woman, finds herself alone in Tokyo, with no memory of her past. She only knows that she's on a mission, and she has to survive on the mean streets until she can remember just exactly what that mission is. On her journey she finds the truth behind her royal parentage, global rock stardom, and...true love.
Riding Shotgun (iManga Series)
(20 x 2 to 3 min episodes)
It's just an average day for a hitman who's short on cash, until his agent makes an important call. Doyle Harrington and his partner Abby finally get to interview with the federally funded National Assassin's Commission… and it's all down hill from there. When a wager to double his profits backfires, Doyle becomes the bounty, not the hunter.
Sokora Refugees (iManga Series)
(19 x 3 to 4 min episodes)
When a skinny, awkward schoolgirl named Kana finds a magical portal in the girls' shower, she and her friends are transported to a fantasy world called Sokora. There, they immediately find themselves at the center of an epic battle between good and evil. Kana is possessed by the spirit of a voluptuous elfin sorceress named Veila, who increases the size of Kana's chest, but if they are to ever make it home, Kana must comes to terms with her new ‘endowments’ and defeat the evil forces sweeping the land.
Founded by multi-cultural media visionary Stuart Levy, TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading youth-oriented entertainment brand and an innovator of manga creation, with a revolutionary artistic vision that transcends countless platforms. From the introduction of the first-ever extensive manga publishing program in North America, to the development of its manga-originated intellectual properties into film, television and digital entertainment, TOKYOPOP has changed the way teens experience pop culture. The company's global reach has expanded to Europe and Asia, with offices in the UK and Germany, in addition to its Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With millions of fans logging onto the new social networking site www.TOKYOPOP.com, reading its books, which are licensed in 41 countries in more than 20 languages, and watching its DVDs and television programs, TOKYOPOP's award-winning catalogue of licensed and original properties has made the company a visionary in an ever-growing teen entertainment marketplace. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com for additional information.
iaTV® (www.iaTV.tv) is America's premier 24/7 television network for Asian pop culture. On the cutting edge of urban youth culture, iaTV offers a diverse array of innovative entertainment programming reaching audiences across America's top markets. iaTV, along with iaLink (www.ialink.tv) and iaRadio (www.iaradio.tv) are part of iaMedia, the television, radio and digital media division of multimedia company ImaginAsian Entertainment, Inc.
About ImaginAsian Entertainment, Inc.
ImaginAsianTM Entertainment, Inc. (www.iaei.tv) is a multimedia company that promotes Asian pop culture to audiences throughout the United States. Headquartered in New York City, ImaginAsian Entertainment delivers cutting-edge content through television, online and film. The company is comprised of iaMedia (including iaTV, iaRadio, iaLink and all of the company's digital media properties) and ImaginAsian Pictures™, which distributes and promotes groundbreaking Asian and Asian American films on DVD and in theaters, including the ImaginAsian Theater in New York City and the ImaginAsian Center in Los Angeles.
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