Shaw pics to air on ex-Soviet TV

Celestial enters Eurasia via exclusive deal with Viasat

BANGKOK -- Viasat Broadcasting U.K. will air Shaw Brothers kung fu movies across the former Soviet Union via an exclusive pay TV deal which Celestial Pictures said will boost the potential global audience for its classic martial arts movies to 200 million viewers.

Hong Kong-based Celestial, owner of the Shaw Brothers Film Library of 760 titles produced from the 1950s to the '90s, said Tuesday that "Come Drink With Me" and "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" will be mong the movies airing in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Baltic States and the Russian Federation on Viasat's TV1000 Action East Channel.

"The distribution in Eurasia is a landmark deal for Celestial's Shaw Brothers martial arts movies," Celestial executive vp distribution and TV networks Terry Mak said.

The deal covers pay TV distribution in such territories as Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Ukraine. Viasat's TV3 Slovenia deal featuring Shaw Brothers martial arts films screened on pay TV in Central Europe.

Since 2002, Celestial, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based media company Astro All Asia Networks, has re-mastered the Shaw titles for home video, television and new-media distribution.