MTV in talks to expand Central European distribution

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HAMBURG -- MTV Europe's Central service is negotiating a deal with German cable operator Deutsche Telekom which it claims will expand its distribution in Germany to cover 87% of TV homes. The agreement, when completed, will be supported by a "substantial" investment in marketing, programming, production and facilities for MTV Europe's Central service.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, MTV will also use its analogue service to increase the penetration of pay-TV in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and to drive viewers to several MTV-branded services which will launch in mid1999.

The Deutsche Telekom arrangement will entail MTV broadcasting its Central service via the Astra satellite to viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, bringing the total number of households in MTV Europe's pan-European network to 77 million. In Germany alone, MTV will be accessible in 28.9 million households.

Brent Hansen, president and chief executive of MTV Networks Europe, describes the move as "hugely it increases our effectiveness in two key ways: it will enhance our ability to deliver a targeted and effective advertising platform for the youth market and it will provide us with a superior and unassailable platform for promoting and supporting popular music and the artists who make it."

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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