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Comcast Shutting Down AZN Network

Comcast is closing down AZN Network as of April 9, stating that the channel is no longer financially viable.

The network, targeting the Asian Americans, has 13.9 million subscribers, mostly among Comcast-owned systems. 

AZN is part of International Networks LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast. Comcast acquired the network from Liberty Media in 2004.

Jennifer Khoury, senior director of corporate and consumer communications for Comcast, said Comcast's programming executives have been reviewing the performance of all of the company's entertainment networks, which include E! Entertainment Television and G4. Those are successful, she said. But there was little advertising interest in AZN or potential for distribution growth.

AZN's prospects were subjected to a third-party review, she said, adding that firm came to the same dire conclusion about the network.

She noted Comcast carries 13 other services targeting ethnic minorities, as well as video-on-demand content for Asian Americans.

Comcast intends to talk to Asian American community leaders to determine what programming they would like in the future to fill the AZN void.

Another network in the genre, the smaller ImaginAsian, is in about 4 million homes and has just received a content and financial investment from a Fuji Television Network subsidiary.

About a year ago, MTV Networks shut down MTV World, its three-channel digital programming suite targeting Asian Americans, amid a large corporate restructuring at the Viacom-owned programming stable.

A marquee programming event on AZN, the Asian Excellence Awards, will be moved to E!, Khoury said.

Local systems will decide how to fill the programming hole left when AZN goes dark, she added.

AZN has about 15 employees, Khoury said. Those employees can seek jobs in other Comcast business units, she said.