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Playboy, Flextech and BSkyB form first international Playboy TV channel.

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 1995--Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PEI) has announced the formation of a new television channel with Flextech plc and British Sky Broadcasting Ltd., (BSkyB) two of Europe's leading media groups. The new television channel, Playboy TV, will be launched initially in the UK in 1995 and will then be extended to Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Flextech, a diversified entertainment company based in the United Kingdom, is 60% owned by TeleCommunications, Inc.'s (TCI) international operating business unit.

British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. is the world's largest and most successful pay television direct-to-home operator with more than four million subscribers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Flextech will own 51% of the channel, BSkyB will own 30% and PEI will own the remainder, retaining an option to acquire additional equity. PEI will also receive license fees for its programming and brand name.

PEI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christie Hefner said, "Two years ago, we began selling blocks of programming to existing cable services overseas. The establishment of an overseas Playboy network was a logical step for us in our strategy for growth and we are pleased to be involved in this venture with such respected partners as TCI, Flextech and BSkyB."

Tony Lynn, executive vice president of PEI and president of Playboy's Entertainment Group, added, "Our exclusive 800-hour programming library has been the basis for our success in entering more than 100 overseas markets since 1991. In addition to the anthologies, dramatic series and short-form programming for which we are known, this year we are introducing our first movies -- a genre of programming which is both timeless and global in its appeal."

David Chance, deputy managing director of BSkyB, and Roger Luard, managing director of Flextech plc, jointly said, "Playboy has a strong brand name worldwide and has a successful adult-oriented television channel in the United States that appeals to both men and women. Our research shows there is a strong demand for the channel, with its wide variety of high quality programming in the UK and Benelux countries."

Playboy TV UK/Benelux will follow the format of Playboy's U.S. cable channel with a variety of popular programming aimed at adults. It will be available as a secure encrypted premium service and on a pay-per-evening basis. The new network will be based in London and will be delivered via Intelsat and Astra to cable systems and DTH homes within the territories. The channel will carry a limited amount of advertising and further details, including the launch date and pricing, will be announced later.

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is an international publishing and entertainment company that publishes Playboy magazine and related media including newsstand specials and calendars; operates a direct marketing business, including the Playboy, Critics' Choice Video and Collectors' Choice Music catalogs; creates and distributes programming for U.S. pay television, worldwide home video and international television and markets the Playboy trademark on apparel, accessories and products for consumers around the world.

Flextech plc has interests in and/or manages 12 cable and satellite channels which broadcast to the UK and Europe, including The Children's Channel, The Family Channel, UK Gold, Bravo and Wire TV. It is also the largest shareholder in HTV Wales with a 20% holding. Quoted on the Unlisted Securities Market in the UK, Flextech is 60% owned by United Artists Entertainment Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of TCI (TeleCommunications Inc.). TCI is also a significant shareholder in TeleWest, Britain's largest cable operator.

British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. offers an unmatched quality and diversity of channels and programming. BSkyB operates nine wholly owned channels, comprising the five premium channels -- Sky Movies, The Movie Channel, Sky Movies Gold, Sky Sports and Sky Sports 2 -- and four other channels -- Sky One, Sky News, Sky Travel and Sky Soap that are part of the Sky Multi-Channels. BSkyB distributes 12 other channels on behalf of third-party program suppliers and the account for the remaining Sky Multi-Channels. BSkyB has 100% penetration of cable homes in the UK and is the leading provider of programming to the UK cable industry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Playboy Enterprises: Martha Lindeman (Investor Contact) 312/751-8000, ext. 2650

312/440-5493, night line

Playboy Enterprises: Jim Nagle (Media - U.S) 310/246-4000

Playboy TV: Mary Fulton (UK/Benelux) 44-171-226-7450

CONTACT: Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Chicago

Martha Lindeman, Investor Contact,

312/751-8000, ext. 2650, 312/440-5493, night line

Jim Nagle, Media - U.S., 310/246-4000

Playboy TV, Mary Fulton, UK/Benelux, 44-171-226-7450
COPYRIGHT 1995 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 11, 1995
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