As a cable and satellite TV subscriber in Thailand, I have watched the Hallmark Channel for many years. So it was with some surprise I discovered recently the Hallmark Channel will be ending its broadcast in Asia on September 19th in favor of Diva Universal.
Instead of the Hallmark Channel, Asians in 21 Asian countries as diverse as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea will now have Diva Universal programming instead, and I’m excited.
Technically, Diva Universal will still be similar to the Hallmark Channel but with new, more modern programming. According to their new spokesperson, Denise Keller, Diva Universal will still have many of the usual Hallmark Channel programs like The Biggest Loser Asia and The Good Wife, but brand new drama shows like Rookie Blue will be alongside top reality TV shows Fashion Show and Top Chef.
One of my favorite Asian shows, The Amazing Race Asia will also be starting its fourth season in September on the Diva Channel and lots more exciting new programming is planned too.
Diva Universal as a wonderful spokesperson. MTV VJ and Passage to Malaysia host Denise Keller has already shot promo shots for the new Diva Universal channel and I’m liking her bright and bubbly style already. Denise Keller is also representative of many of the expected viewers of the new Diva Universal channel – female, ambitious, interested in new things and Asian – and she’s thrilled to have been given this huge opportunity.
Keller recently told Sun2Surf, she was always a big fan of the Hallmark Channel and its programs, so this new job at Diva Universal is a logical choice for her. Unlike the Hallmark Channel, which has had a tendency to be targeted towards middle-aged American women, Diva Universal is targeting all women, but with a much more hip image.
In fact, Denise Keller said about the new channel, We’re not going to isolate viewers like my mum. But we’re extending our viewership to a younger audience with fresh programming, as well as exciting reality shows such as The Biggest Loser Asia.
As a long-time resident of Thailand, it’s been nice to have The Hallmark Channel and its lineup of American TV shows but, I’m hoping with Diva Universal, we might get even more Asian-focused shows targeted towards Asians and Asia residents, instead of mostly American-centric shows targeted towards Americans.
Even though many Asian residents are interested in US culture and US programming, we would still like to know more about our own region too. So, Diva Universal, pay attention. Asian shows are worth filming too.
Meanwhile, Diva Universal is already advertising its upcoming launch on Asian cable channels and is expected to reach more than 20 million viewers across Asia starting September 19th. I can hardly wait.