Universal Networks in global expansion

International portfolio already grown by 400% since 2007

CANNES -- Universal Networks International has grown its international channel portfolio by 400% since 2007 and plans accelerated global expansion following the beginning of a global rebrand of its 70 channels last year, Laurent Dumeau, vp global affiliate sales, said Monday.

UNI's drama and entertainment networks now have a global reach of 180 million and distribution in 150 countries and has seen rebranding rolled out in Africa, France, the U.K., Spain, Benelux and Russia.

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Driven by an exclusive pay TV content strategy that has seen Universal partner with Canada's E1 Entertainment for "Rookie Blue" and Stephen King's "Haven" and with USA Network on "Facing Kate," UNI's next focus is to continue rebranding of channel portfolio of Syfy, DIVA, 13th Street, Universal Channel and Studio Universal around the world including expansion into Japan, South Africa and Latin America.

The rebranding process begun last fall has delivered growth in key territories: In Latin America Studio Universal has seen as 20% increase in the female 18-39 demo, while in France the increase in the 25-49 demo was 43%.

UNI now aims to deliver a fleet of the most popular drama channels, Dumeau said.

"Universal Networks International is delivering on its promises and we mean business."