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AXN Expands, Tom Davidson Named General Manager

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) continues to expand its global cable and satellite networks portfolio with the launch next month of AXN in six European countries -- Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. As part of that expansion, Tom Davidson has been named new network's gm, based in Budapest, according to Darren Childs, svp of international networks, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI).

Davidson is charged with oversight of the channel's overall business operations in the region, including day-to-day management of programming, acquisitions, sales, marketing, promotion, branding and technical operations. Davidson joined SPE in 2000 and, most recently, served as exec director of finance. Prior to joining SPE, Davidson gained invaluable experience in the region by playing an integral role in the launch of HBO Romania, the country's first premium TV channel, where he served as cfo. Fluent in Romanian, Davidson began his career in 1992 as an auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick.

AXN, the top-rated action and adventure entertainment cable and satellite network, now reaches more than 86 million households in 40+ countries throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. In Europe, AXN is available in Spain and Portugal. AXN offers a wide selection of hit European and U.S. series, blockbuster feature films and exclusive franchise properties.

Launched as a customized subscriber and ad-supported basic channel, AXN will deliver localized content to the Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian and Bulgarian markets. With each country to eventually join the expanded EU, AXN is well positioned for rapid growth in the region.

"AXN has quickly gained a reputation for delivering large audiences with the highest quality entertainment product, said Childs. We already enjoy the top-rated position in multi-channel homes in Spain, and recently that goal was reached in Portugal. AXN consistently delivers the demographic that MSOs need to drive their distribution, and that advertisers covet. Establishing channels in these six new territories is a key part of our strategy to extend the reach of AXN throughout Europe."

AXN ( is among SPTI's group of over 30 diverse global networks backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. SPTI's international networks are a key strategy in the company's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 36 channels in 100+ countries reaching more than 277 million households worldwide. In addition to distributing U.S. series around the world, SPTI also recognizes the need for high profile, locally produced television. With dedicated offices in Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.K., SPTI oversees production in eight countries and regions. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company (