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Chum, Orbit team for sat channel

Star! will be programmed in Toronto

Chum Intl. has inked a format deal with Orbit Communications to program a tailor-made TV channel that will air in 23 territories across the Middle East and North Africa, serviced by Orbit’s satellite footprint.

The new channel, to be called Star!, will be programmed in Toronto with a hybrid of Chum’s fashion, music and celebrity programming tailored to Orbit’s more conservative audience.

The service will be fed to London via fiber optic cable and then uplinked to Orbit’s satellite.

Orbit had previously carried a trio of three-hour blocks of programming from the Scandinavian version of Chum’s celebrity-driven specialty channel, which also carries the Star! Moniker.

“The Star! programming block, which we have been carrying on our Hollywood Channel, has proven to be so successful with our viewers that we are now moving into a full channel format,” said Khulud Abu-Homos, Orbit senior veepee of Western programming.

Orbit’s Star! service is skedded to launch Saturday.

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