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Showtime to Launch Two New Channels.


Showtime Beyond To Launch September, 1999

Additional New Channel Targeting "Generation Y"

To Be Introduced On The Web In 4th Quarter 1999

With Channel Launch In June 2000


Introduced In First Quarter 2000

In an effort to maximize consumer choice and value and to support distributors' multichannel premium packaging strategies in digital, Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI) will unveil two new digital multiplex channels of SHOWTIME, it was announced today by Mark Greenberg, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Communications/Showtime Event Television (SET) for Showtime Networks Inc.

SHOWTIME BEYOND is a channel designed to transport viewers beyond their everyday reality. The programming will consist of sci-fi, horror and fantasy movies, as well as sci-fi series. SHOWTIME BEYOND is slated to launch in September, 1999. Following this, the company will unveil another new channel, to be named at a later date, targeting the tastes and sensibilities of "Generation Y." This generation, which will establish the voice of the new century, already has a strong presence in existing SNI households and will soon become household decision makers themselves. This channel is slated to launch in June 2000 and expects to air a high-energy mix of motion pictures, concerts and shorts and also have a fully integrated web component. User-generated content from the channel's website will be used to develop and enhance programming for the channel. Showtime Networks expects the website to be operational in the fourth quarter of 1999.

SHOWTIME BEYOND and the "Gen Y" channel are designed to complement the company's strong array of brands and multiplexes including SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL, FLIX and SUNDANCE CHANNEL, as well as SHOWTIME EXTREME, the action/adventure multiplex channel of SHOWTIME which launched in March 1998. SNI's brands and multiplexes will be offered to distributors under the umbrella "Showtime Unlimited."

In addition to providing consumers with more variety, Showtime Networks is also committed to providing an enhanced viewing experience. The company plans to begin offering SHOWTIME's East and West coast feeds in a high definition format in the first quarter of 2000. The high definition feeds will also feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. This will allow viewers to enjoy the highest quality picture and audio available on TV today while watching their favorite movies on SHOWTIME.

In making the announcement Greenberg stated, "We believe that the launch of these new channels as well as our launch of HDTV in 2000 demonstrate Showtime Networks' commitment to staying at the forefront of the rapidly changing world of digital technology, which we first entered in 1994, as well as converging media. Our "Gen Y" channel -- with its initial introduction on the web -- will take advantage of the accelerating convergence of television and the internet."

Tom Hayden, Showtime Networks' Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development, added, "The launch of these two new channels is another step in providing viewers with more choice and convenience as well as maximizing the value of our networks to both consumers and affiliates. We are enthusiastic about the possibilities that both these channels offer and are particularly excited that our `Gen Y' channel will be breaking new ground and speaking to this emerging audience."

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. SHOWTIME en Espanol, a separate audio feed of SHOWTIME, is available for the Spanish-speaking audience. SNI also markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 19, 1999
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