DEBMAR-MERCURY SECURES FIRST EVER DISCOVERY DOMESTIC SYNDICATION RIGHTS
Two of Discovery 's Highest-Rated Shows, Deadliest Catch and American Chopper, Will Be Available to Broadcast TV For First Time
LOS ANGELES (October 29, 2007) � Debmar-Mercury has acquired domestic syndication rights for two of Discovery Communications' highest-rated series, Deadliest Catch and American Chopper, marking the first time that Discovery has entered into the broadcast syndication market. It was announced today by Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein and Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav.
American Chopper will be made available to broadcast stations for weekend scheduling beginning in Fall 2008 and Deadliest Catch in Fall 2009.
"We are thrilled to work with Discovery Communications on their very first syndication deal," said Debmar-Mercury Co-President Mort Marcus. "We are seeing a big after market for cable series on broadcast television and anticipate strong station demand for Deadliest Catch and American Chopper because they are of such high caliber," added co-president Ira Bernstein.
"The tremendous franchises we have built with Deadliest Catch and American Chopper, coupled with our unique position among our competitors in owning all of our content, has made this opportunity with Debmar-Mercury possible," said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. "We look forward to introducing new audiences to our previous seasons of these series and drawing them to upcoming premieres."
American Chopper debuted on Discovery Channel in March 2003 and averaged more than 2.4 million total viewers during its run on the on the network. The series relaunched in January 2007 on TLC as part of the network's TURBO block of action-packed programming. The series profiles the lives of New York natives Paul Teutul Sr., Paul Teutul Jr. and Mikey of Orange County Choppers, creators of the world's most outrageous custom motorcycles. Each episode captures the day-to-day drama of this volatile father and son team as they battle impossible deadlines and each other and push the envelope of motorcycle design and fabrication. American Chopper is produced by Pilgrim Films and Television with executive producer Craig Piligian.
Deadliest Catch will begin its fourth season on Discovery Channel in April 2008, having debuted in 2005. This Emmy�-nominated series was Discovery Channel's highest-rated series in 2006, garnering a premiere average of more than 2.5 million total viewers and in 2007, the series delivered more than 3 million total viewers. The program takes viewers on a life-or-death voyage to the Bering Sea to follow the brave captains and crews of eight crab-fishing vessels as they struggle against treacherous weather conditions doing one of the deadliest � and most lucrative � jobs in the world. Deadliest Catch is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions. Thom Beers and Jeff Conroy are executive producers.
Debmar-Mercury is a worldwide 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 premiered on TBS June, 2007 to record-breaking ratings and will be followed in September, 2008 with a four year concurrent syndication run on FOX owned television stations. Debmar-Mercury also owns the domestic distribution rights to the groundbreaking sitcom, South Park, as well as 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. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier independent filmed entertainment studio.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Through TV and digital media, Discovery's 100-plus worldwide networks include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The Science Channel, Discovery Health and HD Theater. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.