E! firms up Asia distrib agreements

HONG KONG — E! Entertainment Television has finalized and renewed several distribution agreements during Mip Asia.

China Associates has agreed to distribute nearly 100 hours of programming throughout China, according to Chris Fager, E!’s senior vice president, international development. “The E! True Hollywood Story” and “Celebrity Profile” will be dubbed in Mandarin and begin airing in April on the free-to-air Shanghai television station. The programs will also air on other stations around the country.

Fager also said E! has sold more than 300 hours of programming to Singapore Telecom’s Magix online service. Using personal computers, viewers can access 200 hours of catalog material and 100 hours of new series, including “Extreme Close-Up” and “FYE.”

Launched in June, Magix offers a range of on-demand, P.C.-based services, including movies, news, sports and music.

“Because Singapore Telecom’s broadband technology is the first of its kind in the world, we wanted to work with distributors whose programming is as cutting edge as the technology,” Singapore Telecom’s Roland Tan said.

E! also renewed its agreements with three Hong Kong-based broadcasters: Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV and local terrestrials TVB and ATV.

ATV has taken the entire “Model” docu series on fashion models. TVB will continue to broadcast such shows as “In Focus” and awards show coverage.

And Star will continue to offer several series on its movie channel and its Mandarin-language Phoenix Channel, which beams into China.

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