B'band deal shows Korea key for E!

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CANNES -- E! Networks has closed a 100-hour broadband TV licensing deal with Korea Telecom's MegaPass TV broadband platform, E! Networks' Asia-Pacific managing director Christine Fellowes said Monday. An official announcement is expected this week.

The MegaPass TV agreement comes in addition to the more than 325 hours of E!, Style, G4 and Versus programming E! announced has been sold in the Asia Pacific region this year as the MIPTV programming market got underway.

E!'s deal with MegaPass includes Forbes specials "Style Star," "Style Her Famous" and "Incredible Celebrity Slimdowns."

Licensing terms involved a combination of minimum guarantees and per subscriber fees, Fellowes said.

Other series sales to Korea this year include "Girls of the Playboy Mansion" to XTM channel, "Celebrity Plastic Surgery: The Good, The Bags and The Ugly" to O'Live and "House of Carters" to On Style.

Korea has dominated E!'s international business so far this year. Fellowes attributes this to a combination of the boom in Korean distribution platforms as well as the E! Everywhere strategy and business model.

However, she added, "IPTV and VOD is really starting to show a lot of potential" across the region.

"The challenge for programrs is that some of the platform operators in Asia are looking at VOD as a promotional vehicle, so that they are not offering additional fees," Fellowes said.

Licensing agreements announced today also include G4's "X-Play" to Fuel TV in Australia, "Style Her Famous" to True Inside in Thailand, "Live from the Red Carpet" in the Philippines and "Live from the Red Carpet: The 2007 Academy Awards" to Zee Studio in India.
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