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Tricast and E! Online Sign Five Year Deal

Singapore-based content provider Tricast (BVI) Ltd. has closed a five-year deal with E! Online, the US provider of online entertainment content.

According to Tricast representatives, the content provider has exclusive distribution rights in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan for content on E!Online.com, Moviefinder.com, and Shop.eonline.com.

"This deal marks a significant step forward for Tricast," said Peter Schoppert, Founder and Publisher of Tricast. "By adding E! Online to our growing Internet portfolio, we move another step closer to realizing our vision of becoming the leading global media content provider to Asian Internet audiences."

The English version of E! Online Asia is scheduled to launch in the third quarter, while the Chinese edition, in both traditional and simplified versions, is scheduled for four quarter.

"One of our business objectives is to grow the E! brand in the Asia-Pacific region. We believe the Internet is the perfect avenue in which to help us achieve this goal," said Doug Sylvester, Vice President, New Business Development, E! Entertainment Television.

"E! Online, in particular, will be a strong driving force in helping us reach out to a younger, active Internet audience in Asia," he added.

In addition to drawing on E! Online's US content, Tricast indicated that it would also be providing local content for E! Online Asia including local movie release schedules and Asian pop culture news.

"Market-specific news and stories of interest from the local entertainment scene will be a big draw for Asian users. Additionally, the sites will be hosted locally in each market, enabling faster and more convenient site access for E!'s Asian fans," noted Schoppert.

In February, Tricast revealed a venture with MTV Networks and MTV Asia to provide MTV-branded online content and services throughout Asia. The Asian content provider also manages the CNET portals in Asia.

With the rights to Web operations of MTV and E! in Asia, Tricast hopes to capitalize on the increasing amount of young users that are coming online in Asia.