Chum Intl to launch channel in the Middle East

MUMBAI: Chum International (CI) which is the development and distribution arm of US media firm Chum has signed a format agreement with Orbit Communications for a tailor-made Star! channel to air across Orbit’s satellite footprint in the Middle East and North Africa.

Originating from Chum Television in Toronto, the channel will feature selected original CHUM programming from its music, fashion and entertainment channels. It will be delivered via fiber optic cable to London from where it will be uplinked to the Orbit satellite service. It is scheduled to launch tomorrow 28 January, 2006.

Chum International VP and GM Kevin Byles says, "We are very excited to be working with Orbit on what will be a hybrid of the best programming CHUM has to offer. Orbit’s Star! channel will feature Chum’s top original music, fashion and celebrity-oriented programming tailored specifically for Orbit’s viewers."

Orbit senior VP western programming Khulud Abu-Homos says, "We are delighted to be working with Chum to give our viewers what they want – a channel devoted to the best from the world of entertainment. The Star! programming block, which we have been carrying on our Hollywood Channel, has proven to be so successful with our viewers that we are now moving into a full channel format."

Oribit’s Star! channel will be seen in 23 territories in the Middle East and North Africa including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Morocco, Cyprus, Algeria, Egypt and Pakistan.

Orbit is a digital, multi-channel, multi-lingual pay television service broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa. With its package of 39 television channels and 20 music and radio stations, Orbit delivers the best in family entertainment, movies, news and documentaries.

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