E4L Subsidiary Quantum Positions Itself for I-TV

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BARCELONA, Spain -- Quantum International Ltd., London, the 24-hour European home shopping channel and a subsidiary of direct response television company e4L Inc., Los Angeles, will sublease its satellite transponder to Multichoice International Holdings Ltd.

The channel is distributed by satellite to 70 countries in local languages and reaches more than 364 million households. The satellite broadcasts in both traditional analog and digital; the digital portion will open it up to opportunities in the burgeoning interactive television industry. The contract with Multichoice includes only the analog portion of the signal and will not affect the digital distribution of the channel to European homes.

The announcement was made late last month at the Electronic Retailing Association's European conference.

"By subleasing out the analog part of the satellite and retaining our digital capacity on the same transponder," said Martin Purcell, general manager at Quantum, "we are able to save nearly $35 million while still taking advantage of the digital footprint. This will significantly improve Quantum's bottom line.

Quantum's abilities and opportunities to develop and exploit the interactive ordering mechanisms now being introduced in the European arena will also certainly be enhanced by this agreement," Purcell said.

The deal will position the channel to bring interactive t-commerce to homes faster by earning the company $3.5 million annually for 10 years beginning Aug. 1. Multichoice operates two other satellites reaching Europe and has substantial media interests on the continent.

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