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Programming Briefs

International Channel Will Focus on Asians

Englewood, Colo. — The International Channel, which currently features programming from around the globe, will focus only on Asian-themed fare come the second quarter.

The service, now in 10 million homes, will be renamed and rebranded at that time and begin to feature only Asian-oriented programming, said Steve Smith, managing director of International Channel Networks, owned by Comcast Corp.

Although the schedule has not been fully determined, International Channel’s morning presentation will showcase acquired newscasts that aired hours earlier in various Asian nations. In primetime, International Channel figures to expand on its English-language original “Asia Street” programming block, which presently airs from 10 p.m. to midnight.

MTV Sets Feb. 3 For Tsunami Benefit

Los AngelesMTV: Music Television will hold the MTV Asia Aid benefit concert Feb. 3 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, the network said Wednesday.

The concert, featuring Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson and top Asian artists, will air on all MTV Networks channels worldwide, reaching a potential audience of more than 1 billion people. Stateside, MTV Asia Aid will premiere on MTV2 on that date at 9 a.m. (ET).

MTVN is also making MTV Asia Aid available rights-free and cost-free to all broadcasters globally in order to maximize distribution and help generate as many donations as possible for the concert’s primary recipient, UNICEF.

Spike’s 'Ultimate Fighter’ Packs Punch at Debut

New YorkSpike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter series got off to a strong in the ratings last Monday.

Leading out of the net’s stalwart WWE Raw, Ultimate Fighter grabbed a 1.4 household rating and some 1.7 million viewers from 11:07 p.m. to midnight on Jan. 17, according to Nielsen Media Research data, a 36% jump from the combination of The John Henson Project and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge a year ago.

Ultimate also performed very well with young-adult males, garnering some 385,000 of those watchers, a 12% gain from the prior-year time slot. That figure represented a 57% retention from Raw against that demo versus the network’s typical 20%-25% rate, according to Spike officials.

Spike has ordered 13 installments of Ultimate, in which eight middleweight and eight light heavyweights mixed martial artists live, train and compete against each for a three-year contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship circuit.

AMC’s 'Shootout’ Goes On Location

New YorkAMC’s Sunday Morning ShootOut is going on the road in 2005.

Now in its fourth season, the Hollywood dish and interview show, featuring Mandalay Entertainment chairman and producer Peter Guber and Peter Bart, editor in chief of Variety (sister publication to Multichannel News), will shoot on location at annual industry film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and the Tribeca and Cannes film festivals.

AMC is also in production on two themed episodes surrounding the Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards shows.