MAJOR CABLE PROGRAMMERS SIGN WITH DIRECTV(TM); GM HUGHES UNIT TO NATIONALLY DISTRIBUTE TBS, USA NETWORK, SCI-FI, TNN, CMT, FAMILY CH.
LOS ANGELES, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- DirecTv Inc., a unit of GM Hughes Electronics, announced that it has signed distribution agreements with the nation's leading entertainment programmers for its high-power direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service. The agreements allow DirecTv(TM) to distribute five of the programming services owned by Turner Broadcasting System including CNN, Headline News, The Cartoon Network, Superstation TBS, and where available, TNT. In addition, DirecTv will distribute USA Network, The Sci-Fi Channel, TNN: The Nashville Network, CMT: Country Music Television, and The Family Channel. Through DirecTv, the largest television start-up in history, every television household across the nation equipped with a low-cost 18-inch satellite receiving system will have access to approximately 150 channels of quality subscription and pay-per-view entertainment and information programming. The digital service is slated to begin operation in April 1994, and will be offered to all subscribing households equipped with the DSS(TM) Digital Satellite System manufactured by Thomson Consumer Electronics under the RCA brand name. DSS(TM) is a three-component home receiving system consisting of an 18-inch satellite antenna, a compact decoder box, and a remote control that will retail for approximately $700. "We are extremely pleased that DirecTv has secured distribution agreements with this visionary group of entertainment programmers," said DirecTv President Eddy Hartenstein. "Combined with our recent agreement to distribute The Disney Channel, this announcement solidifies our programming lineup and guarantees that the DirecTv service will offer consumers the largest selection and choice in televised news, information and entertainment viewing." In addition to distribution of the TBS cable programming services, Turner will also make available, on a non-exclusive basis, classic movies from the MGM library for the DirecTv pay-per-view theatrical movie offerings. The Turner MGM library will join with other major Hollywood film studios providing current hit theatrical feature films and popular classic movies for the DirecTv pay-per-view service. The channel capacity dedicated to pay-per-view movies will allow DirecTv to emulate a video store in both convenience and programming selection. DirecTv has previously completed pay-per-view agreements with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which makes available titles from Columbia TriStar International Television and Paramount Pictures. "We're pleased to be able to offer our services to the potential subscriber base for DirecTv," said Turner Cable Network Sales President Paul D. Beckham. "Our goal has always been to expose our products to the widest possible audience." "The long-awaited future of high power DBS has arrived," said Douglas Holloway, senior vice president, Affiliate Relations, USA Networks. "We're pleased that our networks will play an integral part of its growth." USA Networks consist of the Sci-Fi Channel which was launched in September 1992, and is seen in more than 11 million homes nationally and USA Network, the nation's highest- rated basic cable network in prime time and seen in more than 60 million homes. "Country music is the most popular music in the United States," said Lloyd Werner, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Group W Satellite Communications. "Through the DirecTv package, the television versions of this popular music format -- CMT and TNN will be available in more homes, particularly those under-served by other forms of television distribution." TNN is the No. 1 source of country music entertainment, offering original concert specials, entertainment news, music videos with live veejays, and exclusive sports coverage. Programming is provided by The Nashville Network, a division of Gaylord Entertainment Co. of Nashville, Tenn., while marketing and distribution functions are handled by Group W Satellite Communications of Stamford, Conn. CMT, which is jointly owned by Gaylord Entertainment and Group W, is a 24-hour country music video channel which features a mix of videos by chart-topping and cutting-edge country music artists. "This is an opportunity for us to further broaden distribution of our network and to make even more viewers aware of the wide variety of entertainment available on The Family Channel," said Ron Harris, senior vice president of Marketing and Corporate Communications. "We're quite pleased that DirecTv will help provide the means to make this possible." The Family Channel offers a broad mix of quality original programs as well as classic favorites for the entire family to watch including daily children's shows, dramas, sitcoms, women's shows, adventure programs and movies. All of the cable programming services will be included in the package of basic channels to be marketed in rural areas under an agreement between DirecTv and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. DirecTv will offer the cable services in value packages in other locations across the United States along with its pay-per- view movies, sports, cultural, entertainment and information programming. DirecTv Inc. is a subsidiary of Hughes Communications Inc., a unit of GM Hughes Electronics. Hughes Communications is the world's largest private commercial satellite owner and operator. The earnings of GM Hughes Electronics Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GMH), are used to calculate the earnings per share of General Motors Class H Common stock. -0- 5/5/93 /CONTACT: Linda F. Brill, manager-public relations of DirecTv, 310-535-5062/ (GMH)
CO: DirecTv Inc.; GM Hughes Electronics ST: California IN: ENT TLS SU: CON
LS-BP -- LA015 -- 4661 05/05/93 06:01 EDT
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||May 5, 1993|
|Previous Article:||COUNTRYWIDE LOAN PRODUCTION SETS RECORD OF $3.9 BILLION; SERVICING PORTFOLIO RISES TO NEW HIGH OF $62 BILLION|
|Next Article:||MARK SKALETSKY NAMED PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GELTEX INC.|