Kermit Channel leaps into Philippines

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MANILA--The Kermit Channel, a spin-off from the long-running children's educational TV show "Sesame Street'' in the U.S., is launching in the Philippines.

Kermit Channel is a joint venture between mulitmedia group Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark Cards subsidiary Hallmark Entertainment. Through the Kermit Channel, these two companies can air more than 4,000 programming hours of family entertainment.

In a press briefing here, Jeffrey Johnson VP-managing director of Hallmark Entertainment and the Kermit Channel, said the company inked an agreement with SkyCable, the Philippines' leading cable company, for its debut in the country.

The Kermit Channel will initially show five programs this month: "The Animal Show'', "Muppets Tonight'', "Aliens in the Family'',"Black Star'' and "Adventures''. The Asian launch is the company's first venture outside the U.S., according to Mr. Johnson.

"In June of last year, we were faced with the big decision. And that was whether or not to move ahead in the Asia-Pacific region due to the economic crisis. Or launch the service in Europe or Latin America. We chose Asia. The values that you see on the channel are similar to Asian values," Mr. Johnson says.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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