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Global Crossing Aims for Media Market

Leading digital satellite television service provider DIRECTV Inc. Wednesday contracted with fiber giant Global Crossing Ltd. for an OC-3 connection to provide broadband connectivity between its broadcast centers in Los Angeles and Castle Rock, Colo.

The deal portends a greater role for Global Crossing in the media and entertainment sector, a market it is vigorously courting as a prime buyer of services on its extensive fiber optic network.

DIRECTV, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. which in turn is a unit of General Motors Corp., will use the connection to transmit data, support a variety of rich media real-time applications, and enable high-capacity, highly scalable video transmission between the broadcast centers.

Global Crossing said the deal is a first step toward making DIRECTV an anchor tenant of the Global Crossing Media & Entertainment global extranet.

"We are very pleased to be providing broadband connectivity to the recognized national leader in direct broadcast satellite television," said Donna Reeves, President, Global Crossing Media & Entertainment Markets. "Addressing the demand for bandwidth is only one of the many ways we intend to serve the media and entertainment industry. The Global Crossing Media & Entertainment extranet will also enable this vital community of interest to connect, communicate and collaborate on a global basis."

The company views its Media & Entertainment Markets extranet as the world's most advanced communications platform dedicated to the media and entertainment industries. Global Crossing plans to complete the development of the extranet -- designed to optimize the latest applications for film production, television broadcast, and digital asset management -- in 2001.

"The extranet will connect geographically dispersed media facilities via the broadband exchange of TV-quality video, CD-quality audio, live event broadcasting, feature films and commercial production and on-demand applications," the company said.