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Praisery to bid for Hungarian FilmNet

BUDAPEST — In the wake of news that Dutch-based broadcaster Nethold will discontinue the FilmNet Central Europe pay TV service in most markets in this region, Budapest-based public relations agency FM Communications has announced it will try to salvage the net in Hungary.

FM Communications officials say they will approach Nethold, recently purchased by France’s Canal Plus, and propose a purchase of Hungarian FilmNet and MultiChoice services, which began airing in this market in 1994.

“We know FilmNet, and we think it’s unimaginable and a waste to close an up-and-running channel, especially at a time when new TV stations are forming in Hungary,” said Gyorgy Felkai, managing director of FM Communications.

Nethold has not yet responded to FM Communications’ offer.

MultiChoice Hungary, the local broadcaster for the FilmNet Plus movie network channel and ancillary programming such as the Discovery Channel, Country Music TV Europe, home-shopping web QVC and the Adult Channel, is scheduled to officially close its doors next month.

If MultiChoice cannot be purchased, FM officials said they may try to launch a similar service, and acquire rights to drama series, films, sporting events, and special events programming.

Canal Plus is reportedly closing FilmNet’s Central European operations in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia as part of a streamlining process that has already seen the merger of FilmNet Poland and Canal Plus Polska in Poland.

A Nethold representative announced that the company will refocus its sites on larger territories such as the Polish market of 40 million.

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