Sony Pictures Television International's networks group expands channels portfolio with acquisition of Mystery Chanel in Japan

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
Sony Pictures Television International's (SPTI) networks group announced today that it will expand its channels portfolio with the acquisition of Mystery Channel, Inc. in Japan. The announcement was made today by Andy Kaplan, SPTI's president, international networks.

"This acquisition is part of our ongoing expansion plans for our networks business and provides us a rare opportunity to acquire a profitable cable and satellite channel in Japan," said Kaplan. "Mystery Channel has a strong viewer base and its programming and audience complement our existing channels in Japan, AXN and ANIMAX. We intend to use our established infrastructure and expertise to grow Mystery Channel, while maximizing the potential for cross promotion among our channels."

Mystery Channel will be a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) (SPEJ), the Japanese subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment that has local oversight of SPTI's cable and satellite channels in Japan, ANIMAX Broadcast Japan, Inc., and AXN Japan, Inc. SPEJ acquired the outstanding shares of Mystery Channel from three Japanese companies -- Marubeni Corporation, Media International Corporation and Broadmedia Studios Corporation. Mystery Channel will maintain its name and business operations will remain the same.

Launched in August 1998, Mystery Channel specializes in the mystery genre with over four million subscribers on the SkyperfecTV! DTH platform, cable and IPTV. Its female-skewing audience complements AXN's male-skewing channel. Its current programming lineup includes Monk, Poirot, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Mistaken Identity and Taggart.

SPTI's international networks group continues to add new channels to its portfolio and now includes over 50 channels with 107 channel feeds reaching approximately 400 million households in 130 countries. This includes established channel brands such as AXN, ANIMAX, Sony Entertainment Television (SET). Other channel brands include MAX, SAB and PIX, as well as sub brands AXN Crime, AXN Sci Fi and AXN Beyond. In addition to cross-promotional opportunies among the channels, the acquisition of Mystery Channel will take advantage of SPEJ's strong programming, distribution and operational infrastructure and SPTI's extensive experience in operating television channels.
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