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SPTI & SkyLife Launch Animax in Korea for Older Toon Viewers

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) and Korean satellite TV broadcaster SkyLife will launch their joint venture channel Animax in Korea on April 29, 2006. Animax in Korea is a 24-hour local program provider carrying animation programming carried exclusively on SkyLifes DTH platform, which has a subscriber base of about 1.9 million in Korea.

While other animation channels in Korea focus mainly on programming for young children, Animax is airing programs for teens and young adults. Animax will offer a wide variety of programming choices, including comedies, science fiction, action, dramas and thrillers from leading anime producers. GOD (?) SAVE OUR KING!, MONKEY TYPHOON, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, OTOGI ZOSHI, THE ADVENTURES OF TWEENY WITCHES and GALAXY ANGELS are among the first-run programs airing exclusively on Animax in Korea. Additionally, Animax will air popular local Korean animation programs, such as YORANG-AH and BLACK RUBBER SHOES.

Animax in Korea is part of SPTIs expansion plans for its international network portfolio, which now includes some 40 channels around the world. Launched in 1998 in Japan, Animax now has approximately 5.5 million pay subscribers in Japan, 6.5 million in Latin America and 19 million in South and Southeast Asia.

Marty Hong, representative director of Animax Korea, said, Animax Korea will be differentiated by a lineup of high quality programs and sophisticated graphic design elements. We will lead a new trend among animation channels and we also hope that by leveraging the distribution network of Sony, we will be able to contribute to the local animation industry.

Sony Pictures Television International is committed to growing its international networks group, and Korea figures prominently in our plans, said Andy Kaplan, SPTIs president, international networks. We launched our AXN channel in Korea on SkyLife last year and were thrilled to be working with them again on launching Animax in Korea. We now have Animax channels in Japan, South and Southeast Asia and Latin America, and the channels have been embraced by audiences everywhere. The thirst for quality anime programming is apparent and well strive to make sure Animax in Korea offers the best anime shows.

Dong-Koo Surh, ceo of SkyLife said, We are pleased to launch such a global channel as Animax, which will create a buzz in the animation industry. We think that the addition of Animax will add great value in terms of content differentiation of SkyLife and we will continue our efforts to secure strong content in various ways in the future.

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) operates three complementary lines of business: 1) distribution of Sony Pictures Entertainment's feature films and television programming to television 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 currently oversees production in nine regions. SPTI's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in the company's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with approximately 40 networks in more than 100 countries reaching some 240 million viewers worldwide. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Ent. company.