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Rainbow Creates International Unit

9/07/2005 8:46 AM Eastern

Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. is expanding internationally, with plans to develop global channels and distribute programming around the world, officials said Wednesday.

The company is creating a new division, Rainbow International, which will be supervised by Rainbow Media senior vice president of business development Glenn Oakley, a Showtime Networks Inc. veteran.

The expansion into the international marketplace will focus on channel development and programming sales and licensing -- part of an effort to broaden the audience for Rainbow Networks’ original content, maximize the value of its brands and fill a large void in international content, especially in the area of HDTV programming, according to the company.

Rainbow Media recently began marketing Voom HD Networks, a suite of HDTV channels, to distributors in the United States.

“With Glenn leading us into the international marketplace, Rainbow International will bring extensive network-operation experience, vast programming assets and incredible stability to new global ventures,” Rainbow Media CEO Joshua Sapan said in a prepared statement.

“This is particularly exciting news for those in the HD space, where we are already hearing a tremendous excitement about Voom and our HD content,” he added. “Most important, Glenn will ensure the continued audience growth for each of Rainbow’s valuable brands.”

Rainbow Media is the parent of AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment, The Independent Film Channel and Fuse.

September