TS News - BBC And Flextech To Program Eight New Channels

TELE-satellit News, 18 March 1997

BBC And Flextech To Program Eight New Channels
  LONDON, England, 97/03/18 (TS) -- The BBC and Flextech, the
Tele-Communications International Inc owned European programming operation,
have reached an agreement concerning the launch of eight new subscription
channels in the UK. The new services will be broadcast on satellite in
addition to the planned terrestrial digital TV service in the UK.

The new channels are: Arena, an arts channel; Sports Entertainment Network;
OneTV, a popular music which will build on BBC Radio 1's formula; Showcase,
a drama and comedy channel; Learning, which will concentrate on education;
Style, covering information and consumer affairs; Horizons, a documentary
channel; and Catch-Up TV, running repeats of episodes of popular series.

A launch date of late 1997 was given for the first of the services,
although no details were given as to which it would be.

Flextech's venture with the BBC is a sister deal to a proposed
complementary agreement between the BBC and Discovery Channel, in which TCI
is a major shareholder, to form a new programming venture.  The proposed
venture will produce channels for distribution in the U.S., Asia, South
America and Europe. The two partnerships cement the global relationship
between the TCI group of companies and the BBC.

In a related transaction, Flextech will acquire the equity share capital
which it does not already own in the channels UK Gold and UK Living, from
Cox Communications Inc., Pearson plc and BBC Worldwide Investments. Cox,
Pearson and BBC Worldwide Investments will, in turn, receive ordinary
shares in Flextech representing 13.3 percent, 5.6 percent and 3.5 percent
respectively of Flextech's issued shares.

(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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