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SCI FI & Virgin Comics Team on Multimedia Banner

The SCI FI Channel is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Comics to create a co-branded multimedia partnership called SCI FI/Virgin Comics.

SCI FI/Virgin Comics will develop fresh properties that integrate the unique spirit and vitality of both brands. Original concepts will be considered across all mediums from publishing, film and television to digital and gaming. Five new comicbook titles will serve as a jumping off point.

"SCI FI/Virgin Comics marks an important step in our strategy to extend the SCI FI brand into new cross-media platforms," said Dave Howe, SCI FI evp/gm. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Comics to create exciting new titles, characters and stories that can live beyond the pages of the comicbook. Virgin is the perfect brand to help us connect with the youth audience around the world."

"Virgin Comics and I are delighted to collaborate with SCI FI and the rest of the NBC Universal family," said Branson, "to create stories that will inspire a new generation of thinkers and dreamers throughout the world."

"Virgin is one of the world's most dynamic, forward-looking brands," said Bonnie Hammer, president, USA Network and SCI FI Channel. "It's a natural fit for SCI FI, where we've built our business on innovation and imagination."

"With SCI FI we are changing the face of the comic book industry -- seamlessly developing characters and stories for books, television, online and other media," said Virgin Comics ceo/publisher Sharad Devarajan. "Together we are creating stories as innovative as the ways consumers will get to experience them."

The two entities will employ their global creative and synergistic resources as the partnership aims to attract some of the biggest names and talent from the worlds of comicbooks, television and movies. SCI FI and Virgin Comics will bring together a multimedia, creative editorial board with members representing comicbooks, television, movies, digital, gaming, licensing and merchandising.

The first SCI FI/Virgin titles, distributed by Diamond Comics, should be on the shelves later this year.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic website (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 86 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

Virgin Comics (www.VirginComics.com) is a character entertainment company creating original stories and epic myths for worldwide audiences. The company was founded in Nov. 2005 by Branson and Virgin Enterprises Ltd., alongside author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and Gotham Ent. Group, South Asia's leading publisher of comic magazines. Among Virgin Comic's titles are the breakthrough new comics and graphic novels: DEVI, RAMAYAN 3392 AD, WALK IN, JOHN WOO'S SEVEN BROTHERS and GUY RITCHIE'S GAMEKEEPER. Feature films based on virgin Comics' characters are also in the works: an animated feature, THE SECRETS OF THE SEVEN SOUNDS and THE SADHU with Nicolas Cage.