TV Guide Channel� and Debmar/Mercury Announce Cable Syndication Deal for Hit Celeb-Reality "SURREAL TV" Collection of Shows
TV Guide Channel Acquires Exclusive Cable and Satellite Rights For The Surreal Life and its Various Spin-Off Series Including, Flavor of Love and My Fair Brady
LOS ANGELES -- TV Guide Channel�, an entertainment network providing original and acquired programming to more than 80 million homes nationwide, and leading production and distribution company Debmar/Mercury, today announced an exclusive, multi-year distribution agreement under which TV Guide Channel has acquired the cable and satellite telecast rights to the SURREAL TV collection of top-rated celeb-reality series, which the network plans to air as late-night programming beginning in July 2007.
"Celeb-reality series The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, and My Fair Brady are TV ratings winners and hugely popular with younger audiences," said Ryan O'Hara, president of TV Guide Channel. "Acquiring the exclusive cable and satellite rights to The Surreal Life series and spin-offs is an important part of our late-night strategy as we continue to expand programming on our network and deliver entertaining content for TV fans."
TV Guide Channel's distribution deal with Debmar/Mercury encompasses more than 135 episodes and over 100 hours of programming, and includes exclusive domestic cable and satellite telecast rights to: seasons one through seven of The Surreal Life; seasons one and two of My Fair Brady and Flavor of Love; and the additional collection of spin-offs including Strange Love, Fame Games (Surreal Life All-Stars), I Love New York, which premiered on VH1 in January 2007, and Flavor of Love Charm School, which is scheduled to premiere on VH1. Under the contract, TV Guide Channel will be the only cable and satellite network with rights to the SURREAL TV shows through 2010. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"TV Guide Channel is the perfect home for this great collection of celeb-reality series," said Mort Marcus, co-president Debmar/Mercury. "They understand the addictive nature of the genre, and have existing programming that's a great fit and can provide the ideal time period to ensure these shows reach their target audience," added Ira Bernstein, co-president Debmar/Mercury.
Debmar/Mercury acquired The Surreal Life family of shows from 51 Minds Entertainment LLC and Mindring Productions, LLC, in August 2006 in a deal giving them all domestic cable and network television syndication distribution rights. VH1 first aired the series during the summer of 2004 when they ran repeats of The Surreal Life 1 and 2 (which had originally aired on The WB) followed by the September 2004 premiere of The Surreal Life 3, which delivered 1.7 million overall viewers (1.3 million p18-49) making it the highest-rated series premiere in the network's history. The numerous incarnations have continued to be incredibly successful for the network, with the most recent addition, I Love New York, delivering 4.4 million viewers (2.7 p18-49) when it premiered in January 2007, making it the most-watched season premiere of any VH1 series.
Debmar/Mercury is a production and distribution media company specializing in syndication, cable, network, VOD/Pay-Per-View and Pay TV. The company distributes Tyler Perry's first-run syndicated sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, which was sold to TBS and broadcast stations throughout the U.S. in a groundbreaking 100-episode deal, slated to begin airing nationally June, 2007. It also owns the distribution rights to the groundbreaking sitcom, South Park, as well as for Family Feud, The Surreal Life family of celebrity-based reality shows, the Sci-Fi Channel's hit series Farscape, USA Network's The Dead Zone, National Geographic's Really Wild Animals and an extensive movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios and Lionsgate Films. Debmar/Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier independent filmed entertainment studio.
About TV Guide Channel
TV Guide Channel reaches nearly 80 million homes and is the premier television entertainment network for viewers seeking the latest information on the best programs, hottest stars and latest trends on television. Headquartered in the heart of Hollywood at its TV Guide Studios, the network combines original programming with comprehensive program listings information - all of which deliver on viewers' need for an entertaining and easy guide to what's on TV. TV Guide Channel is owned and operated by TV Guide Networks, Inc., a subsidiary of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc.
About Gemstar-TV Guide
Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. (the "Company") (NASDAQ: GMST) is a leading global media, entertainment, and technology company that develops, licenses, markets and distributes products and services that maximize the video guidance and entertainment experience for consumers. The Company's businesses include: television, publishing, and new media properties; interactive program guide services and products; and intellectual property licensing. Additional information about the Company can be found at www.gemstartvguide.com.
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