February 3, 2008

So my friend Cynthia just sent me this link announcing that AZN TV is no more:

Since I wrote my thesis on this network, along with iaTV, I wrote a weird ranty e-mail to my old thesis advisers. Voila my itty bitty rant that I wrote covertly while I was at my internship (maybe one day I can actually get a paying job).

I think it’s sad, but the way the network was going it was kind of understandable. Some of the original programs were outright terrible (They had a series about the NBA and Asian-America, which basically consisted of non-Asian basketball players talking about how they like sushi and traveling to Beijing), and they would repeat the same episodes of a show literally four nights a week. However, these programming choices were probably more due to a lack of funding and not having proper resources, since Comcast kept slashing its budget and its staff again and again, so it never really gave the network the chance to actually regularly deliver compelling programs.

It’s interesting how the article lists iaTV as the only Asian-American targeted network left standing. It cites the fact that iaTV is part of Imaginasian Entertainment with its multifaceted approach towards media, including radio, and film distribution (which it ties to the tv network) as the reason why it’s still afloat. I think it’s also because it’s independently funded, and its owned by an Asian-American company. At first this seemed to be an obstacle compared to AZN Network which was owned by a cable powerhouse like Comcast with more connections and money,  but in the end I guess it was a plus, since even though it was owned by a smaller company with less resources, Imaginasian Entertainment held iaTV as the priority. Though in general iaTV had a stronger dedication to unite a pan-Asian English speaking audience (all foreign-language programs were subtitled, and the original programs were a bit stronger), there’s still alot of similar problems to AZN TV, (the variety is still paltry, and if you watch the network for one day, you’re set for the week since it will just rerun the exact same thing again like every other day) that iaTV must overcome if it wants to create a sustainable, sizeable audience.


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