Dutch TV Co. to Buy Stake in Spanish Portal Site

Dutch independent television production

company, Endemol Entertainment, has bought part of the Spanish Web portal site

Telepolis, the company announced today.

The Dutch production company is buying a 26 percent share of Telepolis to co-develop Spanish online sites based on Endemol-produced TV shows, the company said in a statement. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Endemol will also use software applications developed by Telepolis to jump-start its international Internet business, Endemol said.

The founder of Telepolis, 37-year-old Eudald Domenech, will keep the remaining 74 percent of Telepolis shares while continuing to run the company, Endemol said.

Telepolis boasts a self-developed search engine, a web-mail service, online news service and free Internet access. The company, founded two years ago, has offices in Barcelona and New York.

The Spanish company has existing distribution agreements with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Spain and AltaVista Co.'s Magallanes.

Endemol is just discovering the Internet as a way to make money after the success of the television show Big Brother and its accompanying site. On the Dutch TV show, nine people were locked away from society for 109 days while constantly being observed by two dozen TV cameras. The web site, with chat rooms and live video streams, registered a total of 52 million page views in 15 weeks, a record for the Netherlands.

Europe's number one spot in television production is a tie between Endemol and U.K.-based Pearson Television. In the past fiscal year Endemol's revenues rose just under 1 billion Dutch Guilders (US$456 million).

Endemol, in Hilversum, The Netherlands, can be contacted at +31-35-5399942, or at http://www.endemol.com/. Telepolis, in Barcelona, Spain, and can be reached at http://www.telepolis.com/

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