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AsiaSat Acquires Lightning International – Variety

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Asia Satellite Telecommunications (AsiaSat), a leading operator of satellites, has moved into content distribution with the acquisition of Hong Kong- and U.K.-based TV distributor Lightning International.

The diversification was described by AsiaSat as “a strategic move to expand the company’s services and extend its clients’ reach to global audiences through traditional and new distribution platforms including OTT and FAST.”

AsiaSat is known to be acquiring 100% of Lightning International, but other deal terms were not disclosed.

The news was disclosed on the first day of the AVIA conference in Hong Kong and on the second day of the Shanghai International Television Festival.

Lightning was founded some 12 years ago represents media owners and producers and now handles distribution of TV channels and program content. It currently represents linear TV channels including Action Hollywood Movies, Docsville, GB News, Kartoon Channel!, Liverpool’s LFC TV, Pet Club TV, Pulse TV, TRACE Urban, TRACE Sports Stars, TRACE Latina, TRACE Caribbean, and the classic pop music channels NOW 70s, 80s and 90s. It also licenses a catalog of finished shows and formats.

Hong Kong-based AsiaSat operates a fleet of six broadcast, telecoms and data satellites. The company delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019 and had a market valuation of some $2 billion. Since going private, the company has become an indirect joint venture between CITIC Limited, a conglomerate ultimately owned by the Chinese government, and Carlyle Group, a leading U.S. financial services corporation.

“Combining Lightning’s expertise in content distribution with AsiaSat’s all-embracing satellite and IP-based distribution capabilities will enable both companies to deliver customized solutions including content aggregation and playout, channel distribution and affiliate management,” the companies explained in a statement.

“I am excited to announce this investment in Lightning in order to strengthen AsiaSat’s capabilities in channel distribution and provide customers with end-to-end B2B and B2C media solutions,” said Roger Tong, AsiaSat CEO.

“We are thrilled to join forces with AsiaSat and bring our experience in TV content distribution and solutions into the company,” said James Ross, founder and CEO of Lightning.



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