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[10/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Hallmark Channel Hits 70 Million Subscriber Benchmark

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

HALLMARK CHANNEL HITS 70 MILLION SUBSCRIBER BENCHMARK

Fulltime Hallmark Channel Subs Have Grown Almost 50 Million Since 2001; Channel is Fastest-Growing Network Over Past Four Years

Hallmark Channel today announced that it has reached another milestone since its launch four years ago (August 5, 2001). The Top 10-rated channel is now in 70 million homes and continues to be the fastest-growing network during the four-year period (Aug �01 to Aug �05). The channel�s distribution has grown by nearly 50 million subscribers since its launch, including both new launches and the conversion of parttime to full-time subscriber homes.

�We are especially gratified that our distribution partners have been able to bring our high quality, family-friendly programming to their customers given the bandwidth constraints of recent years,� said Paul FitzPatrick, Executive Vice President and COO of Crown Media Holdings.

The new subscribers are due in part to launches in all of the top DMAs since the network�s launch, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston and many other markets � large, medium and small. Year to date, Hallmark Channel has added nearly 5.5 million homes served by 400 cable systems and DBS platforms.

�The network�s growth is propelled by a core set of values and benefits, namely the strong Hallmark Brand, our programming, especially the Original movies that drive our ratings and demo delivery, our marketing and various holiday promotions,� added FitzPatrick. �These and the extraordinary efforts of the Hallmark Channel teams have been critical to this remarkable distribution growth.�

Janice Arouh, Senior Vice President, Network Distribution and Service, underscored the role that Hallmark Channel�s holiday promotions and local advertising sales initiatives have played over the past four years: �Several years ago, there was limited insertion on Hallmark Channel,� said Arouh. �Today, our distribution partners are inserting ads that are seen by 60% of our subscriber universe. Our partners and their advertiser customers recognize the great value of Hallmark Channel.�

Hallmark Channel�s unique Holiday promotions are a valuable proposition to affiliates and have grown dramatically over the past four years. With no promotions in place four years ago, last May�s Mother�s Day branded promotion with Hallmark Gold Crown stores proved remarkably successful reaching nearly 52 million subscribers. Underscoring the value of Hallmark Channel�s holiday promotions, the network recently announced its third annual Halloween �Swipestakes� with Hallmark Gold Crown stores, which offers viewers the chance to win a Grand Prize trip for two to Los Angeles, a walkon role in an upcoming Hallmark Channel Original movie and $25,000. Hallmark Channel�s upcoming Holiday sweepstakes is expected to break affiliate participation records.

Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 70 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through more than 5,100 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its award-winning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television.

-- HALLMARK CHANNEL --





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