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Chello Zone acquires WBITD content

Multi-channel operator Chello Zone has snapped up 550 hours of television and films in a licensing deal with Warner Bros International Television Distribution.

The multi-title deal sees a range of popular shows and movies heading for three of Chello Zone’s UK channels: Zone Romantica, Zone Thriller and Zone Horror.

Suspense channel Zone Thriller has picked up a slew of titles, including John Grisham’s The Client and Kung Fu: The Movie.

Female-skewed Zone Romantica will be able to show a raft of titles, including The Thorn Birds, Scruples, Falcon Crest, Lace and Lace II.

Meanwhile, Salem’s Lot, Freddy’s Nightmares and Stephen King’s It are among the titles heading to Zone Horror.

The deal was announced by Steve Cole, senior VP for channels at Chello Zone, and Jeffrey R Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros International Television.

Steve Cole said: “It is always a challenge to acquire the right programming that can appeal to our broad range of viewers, and having access to the expansive slate of high-quality shows on offer from Warner Bros gives a huge boost to our schedules.”

In other Chellomedia news, the company is reorganizing its Central European Operations.

According to the company, Chello Central Europe take over the handling of operations of three channels of its sister unit Chello Zone – Zone Romantica (Poland, Hungary and Romania), Zone Europa and Zone Club (Poland and Hungary) – in the region from April.

This will see its portfolio in the region grow to 11 channels.

Chello Central Europe is also set to take over a number of key third-party representations in the region, including NBC Universal, MTV and the History Channel.

Shane O’Neill, Chellomedia’s president, said: “The ability to operate and programme locally is an increasingly important cornerstone of our TV channel strategy, so it makes sense for us to move these channels into our local operations in Central Europe, where we have seen our revenues and operations grow considerably over the last 24 months.”

He added that the move would enable Chello Zone to focus on further developing its pan-regional and Asian themed TV businesses.

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