Five-year pact snags HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax
RIO DE JANEIRO HBO Latin America has inked a five-year agreement with Galaxy Latin America under which the operator will have exclusive satellite pay TV rights in Brazil for the premium film channels HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax.Galaxy Brasil, which is owned by Galaxy Latin America, is thought to have paid $200 million over the five-year term of the agreement for the rights, but the sum was not confirmed by officials with the companies. The three channels have been in the DirecTV lineup since the service was launched in Brazil in 1996; the deal prevented NetSat’s Sky, the country’s No. 1 DTH operator, from seizing the webs. Galaxy Latin America, owned by Hughes Electronics (78%) and Venezuela’s Cisneros (22%), has 25 DTH operations in Latin America. In Brazil, DirecTV has about 300,000 subscribers, while Sky claims to have some 400,000. Hughes and Cisneros have recently purchased a controlling interest in Galaxy Brasil from the country’s second MSO, TVA, and have committed themselves to a heavy investment in the operation, aiming to regain the DTH market leadership position by early next year.