The Chinese content digital channel, which will feature programming mostly dubbed into English, will launch in early 2019. Cinedigm already operates nine OTT channels, including Docurama and CONtv, which covers Comic Con gatherings around the country. The Bambu service is expected to cost $4.99 a month, and will be available via major streaming devices and pay-TV carriage.
In September, Cinedigm CEO and Hollywood studio veteran Chris McGurk described Bambu as a “giant beta test” that will be continually tweaked based on consumption patterns. Cinedigm, which is owned by Hong Kong investment firm Bison Holdings, enjoys a rare degree of access to the lucrative Chinese market.
Among the CITVC titles are some of the highest-rated shows to air in China in recent years. Among them are top-rated 2015 show Nirvana in Fire; documentary series A Bite of China; current hit The Advisors Alliance and Diamond Lover and Journey to the West, an adaptation of a beloved 16th century novel.
“We are very glad to partner with Cinedigm to bring the Chinese reputable TV content to the U.S. through Bambu,” said Jianing Shen, the Executive President of China International TV Corp. and GM of China Radio, Film & Television Programs Exchanging Center. “These 500 hours of drama and documentary are the most well-known content in China, and they cover almost every aspect of China.” She added that the selections made the Chinese partners “impressed by their expertise about the Chinese TV industry.”
Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group and International Distribution said the “tremendous mix of content will attract the young American consumers we want on Bambu.”
Kenny Miao, who recently joined Cinedigm as a China-based content executive, was saluted by Sondheim for his “instrumental” role in securing the deal.