Australia's 3 Mobile to carry Star Mandarin

Venture will target 220,000 Mandarin speakers

SYDNEY -- Australia's fourth-ranked mobile phone company, 3 Mobile, will carry the country's first foreign-language mobile TV channel, Star Mandarin Mobile.

Star TV and its local partner, the News Corp. unit News Digital Media, made the announcement Thursday.

Under the deal, Star Mandarin Mobile will be available for AUS$1 (65 cents) a day or AUS$4 ($2.60) a month to Australia's community of 220,000 Mandarin speakers, which occasionally includes film giant Jackie Chan.

Initially, the channel will feature top-rated Mandarin TV shows including Channel [V] Taiwan's "Blackie's Teenage Club," Taiwanese talk show "Gossip Queen" and "The Cave," billed as China's answer to "Fear Factor."

Donovan Castillo-Mohlman, Star's vp program strategy and development, said the deal shows Star's commitment to "making our popular content 'on the go,' connecting it with mobile users in Asia and throughout the world."

The channel will be added to 3's entertainment TV lineup, which already includes mobile versions of E!, CNN, MTV, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Animax.

3 Mobile is owned by Hutchison Telecommunications and will merge its operations here with Vodafone under a deal announced this week.
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