Television

First 24 hour martial arts channel launched in US

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LOS ANGELES:Producers of the Mortal Kombat feature film franchise, one of the biggest and best-known martial arts franchises of all-time have launched Blackbelt TV, the world's first 24 hour martial arts entertainment cable network.

With a management team comprised of leading cable executives, Blackbelt TV has assembled the largest martial arts entertainment and sports library in the world from leading worldwide fight organizations and Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Totaling nearly 15,000 hours, the library consists of some of the greatest martial arts films of all times, including Enter the Dragon, Once Upon A Time in China, The Karate Kid, Drunken Master, Out For Justice; classic and new martial arts television series like Kung Fu and Mortal Kombat Conquest; Japanese animation; health, fitness and self defense programming as well as original shows like Soul of the Champion.

Viewers will see world championship bouts never before aired on US television from countries including India, China, Japan, Russia, Europe, Korea and Thailand.

Blackbelt TV has entered into exclusive licenses within the martial arts genre with two of the top providers of martial arts entertainment in the US - Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The new channel will also import films and television programming from all over the globe including some of the largest Asian film libraries in the world, claims a press release.

Blackbelt TV's programming unites the biggest celebrities in martial arts entertainment including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Chow Yun Fat, Steven Seagal. In addition to the martial arts films and TV shows, Blackbelt TV has entered into exclusive relationships with leading promoters of championship fights and martial arts competitions from around the globe.

The channel will show world championship Judo bouts directly from the International Judo Federation in Korea; explosive kickboxing from the US, China and India via the World Championship Kickboxing; the fury of Muay Thai Kickboxing directly from Thai Stadiums in Thailand.

Blackbelt's on-air look and feel will be created by its sister company Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL), one of Hollywood's leading digital animation and visual effects companies whose technology alliance is with IBM. The feature film quality bumpers, interstitials and Network IDs will be created by the same digital wizards that produce special effects, theme-park attractions, and animation for MGM, Miramax, Paramount and others.

The network will generate additional forms of revenue by tapping into the billion dollar martial arts ancillary markets through its Blackbelt TV Network Enterprises Division. The division is responsible for developing Blackbelt TV branded home video/DVD, music, video games, apparel, toys, interactive television, on-line and off-line gaming, martial arts instruction and a line of health, fitness and self-defense products. Primary investors in Blackbelt TV include Threshold Entertainment, Fusient Media Ventures, and Sirius Investment

Corp. Blackbelt TV is headed by leading entertainment and cable executives with established track records in starting new enterprises and producing successful branded, mainstream properties. Together their credits include blockbuster feature films like True Lies and Mortal Kombat; hit TV shows like Babylon 5; technology breakthroughs like the first digital movie and digitally recorded score; theme park attractions like King Kong, Robocop and Earthquake; studio experience including Sony, Disney and Vestron; and cable TV experience including BET, VH-1, Animax, Sony Entertainment Television, Discovery Networks, and AXN .

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