DirecTVs Galaxy Brazil Locks Up HBO

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Sao Paulo, Brazil -- Galaxy Brasil and HBO Brasil haveinked a deal which gives the direct-to-home operator exclusive DTH rights to theprogrammer's premium channel for five years. Galaxy Brazil markets the DirecTV DTHservice here.

According to sources, the deal -- which gives Galaxy Brazilexclusive DTH rights to HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax -- is worth $200 million. Officials atneither company would confirm that figure.

The deal is a trimmed-down version of one coveringArgentina that Galaxy and HBO signed earlier this year. That agreement gave Galaxyexclusive rights to HBO's premium networks across all pay TV platforms.

The latest pact enables DirecTV to prevent competitor SkyBrazil from carrying the channels. Sky is backed by News Corp., Brazil'sOrganizaçoes Globo, Grupo Televisa S.A. of Mexico, and Liberty Media International Inc.Sky already has its own stable of exclusive DTH programming, including Globo'sbroadcast channels and the country's top soccer games.

Galaxy Brasil is a unit of Galaxy Latin America, which isowned by Hughes Electronics Corp. and Venezuela's Cisneros Group of Cos. DirecTV had230,000 subscribers as of March, while Sky currently claims 400,000 subscribers.

Hughes and Cisneros this year bought out Galaxy'sBrazilian partner, TVA, the country's second-largest MSO.

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