(August 28, 2000 - Burbank, California & Tokyo, Japan) - In a groundbreaking agreement, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution has signed a multi-year, free television output deal with Japan’s leading program producer and distributor, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. The announcement was made today by Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television, and Banjiro Uemura, Chairman & CEO and Tetsu Uemura, Managing Director, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. The deal provides the free TV rights for Warner Bros.’ 1999, 2000 and 2001 theatrical releases, television series, television movies and miniseries from the 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons, as well as selected documentary and library programming. The Tokyo-based Tohokushinsha Film Corporation will, in turn, sublicense the programming to free television broadcasters in Japan. The deal was negotiated on behalf of Warner Bros. International Television Distribution by Schlesinger and Matthew Robinson, Vice President, Business Development, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. Included in the deal are such motion pictures as “The Matrix,” “Wild, Wild West,” “Deep Blue Sea” and “You’ve Got Mail”; popular television series “The West Wing,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “Oz” as well as the highly anticipated new series “The Fugitive,” “Night Visions,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Freedom,” “Nikki,” “Hype” and “The Michael Richards Show.” “This is an unprecedented deal for Warner Bros. as it is both the largest free TV deal we have concluded to date in the territory and we are aligning with such a respected, powerful media company as Tohokushinsha,” said Schlesinger. “We are confident that Tohokushinsha will be successful in selling our product and placing it on the air in Japan.” “With the dynamic marketplace in Japan and the introduction of broadcast satellite channels, we are pleased to have strategically aligned with Warner Bros., a true leader in quality programming,” said Tetsu Uemura. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of programming, licensing more than 39,000 hours of television programming and movies dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 languages to broadcasters in more than 175 countries. WBITD handles distribution to the all international television media, including broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand and digital platforms for all product from Warner Bros. Pictures (contemporary and classic films, including the MGM and RKO libraries), Warner Bros. Television, Telepictures Productions, Castle Rock, selected product from CNN Productions and Turner Original Productions, and all Warner Bros., Cartoon Network and Hanna-Barbera animated product. Tohokushinsha Film Corporation is a multifaceted entertainment company with a 40-year history of successful operation. In addition to the entertainment area, it is also engaged in the business of advertising production including a full-service sales promotion operation. Its four unique television commercial production entities produce more than 800 commercial spots every year. To support commercial production and work in the multi-media market, it operates Japan’s largest and most updated digital post production and computer graphics facilities. Tohokushinsha Film Corporation originally started with one business of dubbing non-Japanese language programs into Japanese and is now rendering dialogue/vocal replacement and subtitling services to all major studios in Hollywood. Film and television program distribution is one of its primary businesses, enjoying the largest market share particularly in television distribution. In addition to the business of distribution, it produces feature films and television programs. It was a co-production partner for the landmark NBC Television miniseries “Shogun.” As an expansion of its entertainment business, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation pioneered in the field on non-standard television programming in Japan, 15 years ago. It is the largest channel operator, currently operating nine thematic channels through affiliation, including joint ventures with Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and Paramount as well as Playboy. It partly owns Super Network, Inc. through a joint venture with Hakuhodo Inc. Super Network, Inc. is the operating entity of Super Channel, one of Japan’s largest basic television services, and “Let’s Try” on which The History Channel has been launched.
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