CBS Chello deal puts Dynasty back on UK TV screens
LONDON - Eighties prime time super-soap Dynasty is making a return to UK TV screens after a deal was struck between UK channel operator Chello Media and US programme maker CBS Studios.
The deal will see thousands of hours of CBS's programming make its way onto Chello's UK channels, including classic series such as Star Trek.
CBS Studios International will form a 50/50 joint venture with Chello Media's broadcast arm Chello Zone under which six of the operators UK channels - Zone Romantica, Zone Thriller, Zone Horror and Zone Reality, Zone Horror+1 and Zone Reality+1 - will be rebranded later this year to incorporate CBS branding.
The new company, which marks CBS's first foray into UK television beyond licensing, will continue to acquire programming from third party suppliers as well as drawing on CBS's 70,000-hour plus library.
Chello Zone, whose channels collectively reach more than 13 million homes throughout the UK via the Sky, Virgin Media and FreeSat platforms, will operate the new company under the guidance of a new board formed from representatives of CBS and Chello.
Armando Nuñez, president, CBS Studios International, said: "This venture opens a new distribution outlet for our vast library of content, and complements our strong ongoing licensing of programming in the UK and around the world. We look forward to working with our new partners at Chello Zone to utilize CBS's great programming assets to maximize viewer interest and advertiser value for these channels."
Chello, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, reported revenue of €142.1m for the first six months of 2009 to June 30, owning and operating 26 TV channels in premium sports, movies, lifestyle and entertainment and on demand services, web and ITV content, and four joint venture channels across Europe.
Chello Media president and Liberty Global chief strategy officer Shane O'Neill said: "This UK partnership marries our channel expertise with one of the world's largest libraries of high quality and globally popular programming; we are delighted that CBS and Chello Zone are entering into this prestigious partnership on our UK entertainment television channels."
"The JV with CBS will significantly enhance our UK channel portfolio, create a clear proposition for advertisers, and above all create essential TV destinations where British viewers will enjoy a rich choice of popular programming from CBS."
Dynasty ran from 1981 to 1989 in the US and starred John Forsythe as Blake Carrington, Linda Evans as Krystle Jennings Carrington and Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington Colby.
It was huge success in the US and the UK spawning a spin-off series, The Colbys, as well as fashion and product ranges.
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