No singing ads yet for Pan-Asian Karaoke TV channel

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HONG KONG -- The Singapore-based Channel KTV has launched an aggressive push for karaoke advertising to accompany the official debut of the regional satellite sing-along channel in Taiwan on August 3.

The channel has introduced four minute ad spots to accommodate the new advertising format. But the first sing-along ad has yet to emerge, despite claims of "lots of interest" in the concept. The karaoke channel launched in Asia on June 1 on Singapore CableVision, which has about 5,000 subscribers. Channel KTV's first advertiser -- although not with the hoped-for sing-song format -- was Tiger Beer. The Taiwan launch marks the official beginning of a tough push into the lucrative Greater China market, where karaoke enjoys lively and growing support.

The channel soon hopes to be carried on Wharf Cable TV, which has a pay-TV monopoly in Hong Kong. It is also negotiating with an unnamed cable system in mainland China. Expectations are that Channel KTV will be available in one million Taiwanese homes by the beginning of October. Part owned by the British Carlton Communications plc, the advertising-supported channel airs for 20 hours a day. It is available off PanAmSat-2.

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