Hallmark Channel to end Israel broadcasts

Universal Networks International, a unit of NBC Universal Television Group, is not abandoning Israel.

The Hallmark Channel is ending Israel broadcasts, after more than a decade. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Universal Networks International has notified Hot Cable Systems Media Ltd. (TASE: HOT) and DBS Satellite Services (1998) Ltd. (YES) that it seeks to stop airing the channel. If the necessary permits are obtained from the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Authority, the Hallmark Channel will go off the air on December 28.

Universal Networks International, a unit of NBC Universal Television Group, is not abandoning Israel; a few months ago, the company's representative in Israel began a study on expanding its brands in the local market. Options include airing the Universal Channel, which is aired in numerous countries, and broadcasts NBC-produced television series and movies.

The Hallmark Channel mostly airs TV movies and TV reruns of popular series, such as "Law and Order", "ER", and "Gilmore Girls".

Universal said, "Following challenging changes in the Israeli market, Universal Networks International has decided to end the airing of the Hallmark Channel in Israel. We are hopeful that we can offer a channel similar to Hallmark in the near future."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 2, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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