International Media Distribution
|Industry||Ethnic media and broadcasting|
International Media Distribution (IMD) (formerly International Networks) is a United States media company that markets and distributes international television channels to cable and satellite operators in the US and Canada. It also distributes multi-ethnic television programming to consumers via Video On Demand services. International Media Distribution is a wholly owned subsidiary of NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast.
Originally launched as International Channel Networks in 1996, the company was owned by Liberty Media (which was the majority owner with a 90% stake) and JJS II Communications, LLC (which owned the remaining 10% share). They owned and operated The International Channel or I-Channel, which was a basic cable channel that launched in 1990 and featured multilingual, multi-ethnic programming to audiences in the United States. The channel offered programming from Europe, Asia & the Middle East in over 25 languages. In 1998, the company began offering a tier of premium networks featuring various channels from around the world. This tier has since grown and currently consists of over 20 networks.
In July 2004, as part of a larger deal, International Channel Networks was sold to Comcast. In 2005, Comcast re-branded the International Channel as AZN Television, a channel catering to Asian Americans and featuring several original programmes. The company was subsequently renamed International Networks.
On April 9, 2008, AZN television ceased operations as Comcast decided to shut down the channel due to distribution and advertising difficulties.
On March 10, 2009, Comcast decided to rename the company as International Media Distribution. The re-brand was undertaken to reflect the growth of the company and to emphasize the focus which is now on the distribution of premium international channels from around the world. In 2011, the company was contributed by Comcast to NBCUniversal, a joint venture of Comcast and General Electric (GE). In 2013, Comcast yet again took full control of International Media Distribution upon purchasing GE's share of NBCUniversal.
Premium Television Networks
International Media Distribution currently distributes 40+ networks from around the world, they include:
- ATV Home (America)
- CCTV News
- CTi Zhong Tian Channel
- Phoenix North America Chinese Channel
- Phoenix InfoNews Channel
- ABP News
- Eros Now (Subscription VOD)
- Life OK
- Zee Live
- Zee Tv
- Zee Magic
- STAR Gold
- Star Plus
- STAR Vijay
- TV Asia
The following channels were distributed by International Networks at one point but are no longer affiliated with the company:
- Africa Independent Television
- GMA Life TV (Filipino)
- GMA Pinoy TV (Filipino)
- ProSiebenSat.1 Welt (German)
- MBC (Korean)
- Melli TV (Persian)
- NITV (Persian)
- Rang-A-Rang TV (Persian)
- RSN (1–3) (Romanian)
- Scandinavian Channel (defunct)
- Zee TV (South Asian)
Canales ñ (Package of Spanish channels)
- "International Channel Networks". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
International Channel Networks is the trade name of International Cable Channels Partnership, Ltd. (a company 90% owned by Liberty Media Corporation [NYSE: L and LMC.B] and 10% owned by JJS II Communications, LLC).
- "IC - About IC". International Channel. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
The company programs and distributes a basic cable television channel, International Channel. This service provides programming from around the world in more than 20 Asian, European and Middle Eastern languages. Programming includes news, sports, movies, music and general entertainment programs. International Channel is available to more than 8 million cable television subscribers in the United States. The channel launched in 1990.
- Comcast Pulls Plug on AZN, Broadcasting & Cable, January 28, 2008
- International Networks Is Now International Media Distribution, International Media Distribution, March 10, 2009
- A BIGGER, BOLDER MYX TV, International Media Distribution, April 11, 2011
- Lieberman, David. "Comcast Completes Acquisition Of GE's 49% Stake In NBCUniversal." Deadline Hollywood (March 19, 2013)