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Sony & Minimax Announce Acquisition Of Anime Channel, A+

Sony Pictures Television Intl (SPTI) and Minimax, one of the leading childrens TV channels in Central Europe, announced SPTIs acquisition of A+, a dedicated channel for anime programming that airs on Minimax in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The channel will be part of SPTIs international networks group, which includes more than 45 channels around the world.

While A+ will be operated and controlled by SPTI in the UK, Minimax will continue the day to day running of A+ through a channel management service arrangement according to the business and editorial direction received from SPTI and working closely with SPTI's international networks team in Budapest. In addition to servicing this new channel, the team in Budapest will maintain their responsibilities for their general entertainment channels, AXN, AXN Sci-Fi and AXN Crime.

The anime style of the programming will continue as currently broadcast on the same frequency as the Minimax channel and will remain in the same time slot between 8:00 pm and 2:00 am daily. A+ launched in January 2005.

The acquisition of A+ is an excellent opportunity for SPTI to develop a well established channel that already commands a loyal following in the 15 to 25 year old age group, said Ross Hair, SPTIs svp, international networks. The commercial rationale for this acquisition is compelling given an existing subscriber base in excess of four million homes, the potential for incremental distribution revenues and the appeal of the channel to advertisers. We are delighted to take ownership of A+ whilst continuing to work with Minimax in the day-to-day management of the channel. With our long tradition of operating anime channels in Asia and the Americas, SPTI is now proud to bring A+ to screens across Central Europe.

Balázs Hajós, md of Minimax, said. We are extremely delighted that with this transaction, Minimaxs anime channe, A+, will be part of SPTIs worldwide network. The collaboration with SPTI presents an exciting business prospect in working together to best meet the current market demands and our viewers expectations. Our alliance provides us with the opportunity to combine our local expertise with the global experience of SPTI.

A+ is the only dedicated anime programming channel in the region and is the dominant channel in the 8:00 pm time slot for the 13-17 age group. The channel has just over 4 million subscribers.

Minimax, one of the most popular childrens television channels in Central Europe, entered the Hungarian market in 1999. Later on, it arrived in Romania (2001) and in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (2003). Over the past few years, the channel has become the leading childrens television channel in Hungary and a decisive player in the childrens television market in the Central and Eastern European region broadcasting to over 5 million subscribers. Targeting the 4-12 age group, from the beginning, the channel has broadcast childrens cartoons, simultaneously educating and entertaining children 14 hours a day. In addition to the television channel, Minimax provides childrens quality entertainment by publishing a magazine, a website, running an online shop and organizing various childrens events. In addition to classical stories like FRAKK and BOB AND BOBEK, other popular films running on the channel include favorites like LITTLE ROBOTS, NODDY, THOMAS & FRIENDS, MAYA AND MIGUEL, THE UGLY DUCKLING AND ME and JAKERS! Visit for further information.

Sony Pictures Television Intl (SPTI) is the division of Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) responsible for all television business outside of the U.S. SPTI operates three complementary lines of business: 1) distribution of SPEs feature films and television programming to television, mobile and digital content delivery outlets around the world, 2) local television production in key international markets, and 3) international television networks. In addition to being a leader in the distribution of current and classic U.S. and international films and television product worldwide, SPTI produces high profile, locally produced television in local languages. With dedicated offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Miami (Latin America), the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the U.K., SPTI oversees production in nine regions of the world and is the leader in international television production among all major Hollywood studios. SPTI's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in the SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with more than 40 networks in more than 100 countries reaching more than 240 million viewers worldwide.

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Rick DeMott
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