Who Will Rise To The Challenge?

Sweat, blood and adrenaline pump through AXN in The Challenger Muay Thai

Malaysia, 8 June 2011 – Things are about to get bloody exciting on AXN. The network is bringing the heat of the fight back to TV screens with a brand new series The Challenger Muay Thai, and in high definition no less! Produced by the Imagine Group and The Group Entertainment, the reality competition series will be set and shot in Malaysia. Whether for glory or gain, 16 world-class fighters will fight it out to win the ultimate title of Muay Thai World Champion and the grand prize of US$100,000!

No one is more apt than renowned Muay Thai personality Stephan Fox as host of the series, an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. With his illustrious background as the Vice President of the World Muay Thai Council (the governing body of the Muay Thai community), Fox will also play mentor to the fighters and take a hands-on approach in grooming these talents, hand-picked from the best breed of fighters around the world.

From Malaysia, Thailand to Israel and South Africa, the motley crew of fighters trail blaze an impressive track record both in their countries and in the international arena, with numerous championship titles under their belts. With ages ranging from 18 to 35, the calibre of fighters is certainly unparalleled. Some have started their training since the tender age of seven, while others have fought The Contender Asia champion Yodsanklai and even won. With intimidating monikers like ‘The Cheetah’, ‘The Sniper’ and ‘Black Dynamite’, it is clear that the boys are not in town to play. With such high stakes, each and every fighter will not go down without a fight!

Each week, the fighters will be subjected to a rigorous bout of training from their two trainers Hanarong and Nugget, revolving around the ‘weapon of the week’. These include spiritual ideals such as respect and fearlessness, as well as focusing on each component of their body, their natural weapon in the context of Muay Thai.

“As the entertainment destination for action and adventure, there is no other cable channel that is a better fit for the sheer adrenaline and thrill of The Challenger Muay Thai. We are pleased to be working with the Imagine Group for the show, with their proven track record in producing top-notch reality series in Asia,” said Mr Ricky Ow, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Networks, Asia, Sony Pictures Television.

“Nothing on the planet brings you this close to the action… our viewers will be on the edge of their seats,” added Mr Riaz Mehta, President and Founder of the Imagine Group.

Watch out for the titillating drama that will unfold in the fighters’ villa, as tension runs high with the progression of each fight night and the numbers dwindle. Alliances will be forged, blood will be shed and the fighters will be scraping through each win by the skin of their teeth! Who will rise to the challenge and emerge as the Muay Thai World Champion? Who will overcome all odds and walk away with USD100,000? All will be unveiled on The Challenger Muay Thai, set to premiere on AXN (Astro channel 701) and AXN HD (Astro B.yond channel 721) in the fourth quarter of this year.


FOR MEDIA QUERIES, PLEASE CONTACT:

Sony Pictures Television’s Networks, Asia
Gayle Tan
+65 6622 4202
Gayle_Tan@spe.sony.com

Imagine Group
Nicola Eliot
+65 6220 6731
Nicci@imagine-group.tv

ABOUT AXN

AXN is the heart of action and adventure. Launched in 1997, AXN is a leading English general entertainment destination among upscale, affluent adults aged 18-39. The channel delivers top -rated drama series, blockbuster features, adventure-reality and first-run lifestyle sports programmes from around the world, as well as dynamic original productions. In 2010, AXN once again cemented its position as Southeast Asia’s No. 1 international channel with The Amazing Race Asia Season 4 and Hawaii Five-0 Season 1.
AXN is an international channel brand that started in Asia, but has since expanded to Latin America and Europe. It is available in 60 countries globally. In Asia, the channel is seen in more than 97 million households across 22 countries, including close to 50 million households on a time-block basis in China.
A provider of unparalleled quality in entertainment, AXN enhanced the viewer experience when it entered the high-definition arena with the launch of AXN HD in March 2009.
AXN ASIA is wholly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia, which also operates pay-TV channels AXN BEYOND, ANIMAX, SONY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION and ONE. See www.entertainmentasiatv.com for more.

ABOUT IMAGINE GROUP

Imagine Group is Asia’s leading producer of reality television. Their successful hit show The Contender Asia was viewed in 40 countries worldwide and is the first show to be produced in Asia that aired in prime time across The US, Europe and Asia.

Imagine Group’s most recent production, The Biggest Loser Asia, has run for two hit seasons; breaking network ratings records in 22 countries across Asia, as well as inspiring and educating Asians to battle obesity and live a healthy lifestyle.

Imagine Group works with globally recognised producers (such as Mark Burnett Productions and ShineReveille) as well as international broadcasting partners to deliver compelling television content to both Asian and International Markets.

Imagine’s vision is to develop and provide pioneering and original productions that appeal to its audiences worldwide.