DirecTV Boosts Hallmark Carriage


Hallmark Channel said Tuesday that its U.S. distribution would increase to 40
million subscribers by the end of September thanks to a deal between DirecTV
Inc. and Hallmark parent Crown Media Holdings Inc.

DirecTV will move Hallmark Channel from its 'Family Pack' tier to its more
widely distributed 'Total Choice' package.

As part of the companies' strategic relationship, DirecTV and Crown have
agreed to explore other content deals, including pay-per-view distribution of
Hallmark's library titles and the development of interactive broadband

Crown has already deployed its first interactive applications through service
providers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Crown and DirecTV said they would consider developing 'V greetings'
applications with the Hallmark brand, as well as Crayola Kids interactive crafts
content. Crayola parent Binney & Smith is owned by Hallmark Cards Inc.

In the deal announced Tuesday, DirecTV received about 5.4 million shares of
Crown common stock. At the close of trading Tuesday, the shares were valued at
$83.43 million.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
Tuesday, DirecTV paid $54,000 in cash for the shares. A Crown spokesman said the
cash payment was issued to satisfy Delaware rules.