Sony Acquires U.K. Channels From Dolphin  

Is also expanding European ad business with a majority stake in advertising sales house Dolphin TV Ltd.
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Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks is expanding its U.K presence by acquiring the channels business of Dolphin Broadcasting Ltd. and taking a majority stake in advertising sales house Dolphin TV Limited.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Dolphin's channels business will add five new channels to SPT's U.K. network portfolio while the stake in Dolphin TV Ltd will help SPT build up its advertising business across Europe.

"Increasing our foothold in the UK is an important part of our EMEA growth plan," explains Eddie Nelson, senior vice president of networks for the European, Middle East and African (EMEA) regions at SPT. "As a well established specialist in the UK's multichannel market, Dolphin is an ideal fit for SPT as we develop our channel portfolio and focus on expanding Dolphin's market share of advertising sales. We are extremely excited about working with Dolphin's existing clients and developing the teleshopping business."

The five Dolphin television channels are Movies4Men, Movies4Men+1, Movies4Men2, Movies4Men2+1 and Men&Movies. They are available on Sky and Freesat, as well as Freeview in Manchester. The channels target an older, male demographic, offering movies and television programming with war, western and action films.

"Sony Pictures Television is a great strategic fit for our own channels and our advertising sales business," noted David Goffin, managing director of Dolphin TV in a statement. Goffin also noted that the acquisition would allow them to "invest in our core areas of spot and teleshopping sales."

Dolphin's channels business are being merged with SPT's existing UK networks business, led by senior VP of broadcast and channel development, Kate Marsh, who reports into Nelson.

Dolphin TV, the advertising business, will continue to operate under the same name and management team, and from the same office in London. The business is led by Goffin, who now reports into Nelson.

Current Dolphin TV spot advertising clients include CSC Media Group's True Movies and the Welsh broadcaster, S4C; with teleshopping clients Channel 4, ITV, BskyB, Chello and Ulster TV.

This new deal means there are now 46 SPT channels operating across the EMEA region, broadcasting across 52 territories and in 19 languages.

In the UK, SPT already operates Sony Entertainment Television, which offers scripted television and movie content. It targets a female demographic and available in 13.8 million homes.

Worldwide, SPT's network of channels now reaches more than half a billion homes.

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