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Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific Limited
Formerly
Hutchvision Channel Services Limited (until 4 July 1991)
Satellite Television Asian Region Limited (4 July 1991-2 September 2014)
Fox International Channels Asia Pacific Limited (2 September 2014-29 February 2016)
Star TV (former trade name)
Star (former trade name)
FoundedAugust 31, 1990; 28 years ago (1990-08-31) as Star TV in Hong Kong
Headquarters13/F One Harbourfront, 18 Tak Fung Street, Area of Hung Hom, Kowloon City District, ,
Areas served
Hong Kong
East Asia
Southeast Asia
ProductsSubscription-based television network
Owner21st Century Fox (acquisition by The Walt Disney Company pending)
ParentFox Networks Group
Websitewww.startv.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific Limited (formerly Satellite Television Asian Region Limited and Fox International Channels Asia Pacific Limited) is a Hong Kong-based commercial broadcasting company which is currently a part of 21st Century Fox's Fox Networks Group, operating multiple specialty television channels. It was previously traded as Star TV (stylised as STAR TV) until 2001, and simply as Star until 2009. Originally established by Hutchison Whampoa and later acquired by the original News Corporation, Star TV was once the prominent satellite television broadcaster in the entire Asia.

FNG Asia Pacific's channels are currently available in East Asia (except Japan) and Southeast Asia, and it previously served South Asia and the Middle East.

History

Launch

The company was originally registered to the Companies Registry of Hong Kong as Quford Limited on 31 August 1990. The company was renamed Hutchvision Channel Services Limited on 31 January 1991, before becoming Satellite Television Asian Region Limited (Chinese: 衛星電視有限公司; literally: "Satellite Television Limited") on 4 July 1991. It was established by Hutchison Whampoa, and was headed by Richard Li (son of Li Ka-Shing, the founder of Cheung Kong which owns Hutchison Whampoa).

The company operated its television channels under the blanket brand of Star TV (Chinese: 衛星電視; pinyin: Wèixīng Diànshì; literally: "Satellite Television"). In its initial years, the channels were broadcast over AsiaSat 1 communication satellite operated by Asia Satellite Telecommunications, which was a consortium of Hutchison Whampoa, China International Trust and Investment Corporation and Cable & Wireless Worldwide. As with the satellite's footprint, the channels reached from the Far East to the Middle East. Star TV's initial line-up of advertisement-supported free-to-air channels included:

On 1 October 1992, Star TV added Zee TV (which targetted Hindi-speaking audiences) from Zee Telefilms in India to its line-up. Later, the company launched Star Movies, which aired a mix of Chinese language and Hollywood films.

In February 1993, Julian Mounter, former director-general of Television New Zealand, was appointed as president and Chief Executive of the company.[1]

In June 1993, Star TV and Wharf Cable signed a deal in which Hong Kong's new cable television provider would carry Star TV's channels.[2] However, the deal was terminated in February 1994 in the carriage dispute between the two parties.[3]

Sale to News Corporation

Star TV's viewership across Asia have increased over the years, and it attracted advertisers. But the business was making loss. The company has been looking for an Anglophone partner for financial investments, additional English language programming and technical assistance, especially to launch a pay-television system that would carry encrypted channels.[4]

By late April 1993, Pearson approached Star TV's owners, and was expected to pay up to GBP 100 million.[4] Pearson (which owned minor stake in British broadcasters BSkyB and Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television at the time, and have just acquired Thames Television) has been looking to expand its media business outside the UK, especially because the British laws at that time did not allow Pearson to expand more on UK television business.[5][6] Pearson was looking for the 66% of the company, but the deal was reported to have required the Hong Kong side to remain active shareholders, making the deal to be turned down.[5][6]

The initial negotiations with Rupert Murdoch were reported to have foundered after the Australian businessman demanded a controlling stake in the Hong Kong company.[4] But in July 1993, Murdoch's News Corporation have managed to purchase 63.6% of Star TV for US $525 million, half in cash, half in News Corporation's ordinary shares, blocking offers from Pearson. The deal came after News Corporation failed to acquire 22% of TVB because of regulatory issues.[7][8][9] News Corporation acquired the remaining 36.4% for US $299 million in July 1995.[10][11] Li family and Hutchison Whampoa would retain its shares in Hutchvision Hong Kong Limited, which uplinked Star TV's channels.[7][8][10][11] With the amount of money made from the 1993 sale, Richard Li went on to establish his own venture, Pacific Century Group.[12]

In August 1993, following News Corporation's takeover, Julian Mounter resigned as Chief Executive of the company. Sam Chisholm, who was the head of BSkyB at the time, became acting Chief Executive before he was formally appointed.[13][14][15]

With the controversial removal of BBC World Service Television from the company's satellite television offerings for Northeast Asia in 1994 (discussed below), Star TV replaced the BBC channel with Chinese language film channel Star Chinese Movies,[16] effectively splitting the original incarnation of Star Movies, which would focus on Western world films from then on.

Star TV and MTV ended partnership that supplied music programming, so Star TV launched Channel V to replace the American brand. The Indian version was launched in May 1994, and by December 1996, it was followed by three additional versions: Channel V International, Channel V Thailand, and another version in Mandarin Chinese.[17]

On 31 March 1996 at 7 pm Hong Kong Time, Star TV splitted Star Plus and Star Chinese Channel by certain areas:

On 6 May 1996, Star TV launches VIVA Cinema, in partnership with Viva Entertainment, the country's first and only 24-hour Filipino movie channel.

In October 1996, Star Sports (since renamed from Prime Sports) and ESPN Asia have agreed to combine their loss making operations in Asia.[18] The new joint venture, later named ESPN Star Sports, would be headquartered in Singapore (where ESPN's operations in Asia were based in).[19]

In 1997, Star TV launched Star Select package of television channels targetting the Middle East.

On 18 February 1998, Star TV launched Star News, a news channel targetting India, in partnership with NDTV. It switched partner to ABP Group in 2003, before Star India completely gave up and sold their share in 2012.

In May 1999, Star TV migrated its services from AsiaSat 1 and 2 to AsiaSat 3S.[20]

Later, Zee TV ended partnership with Star TV. The Hong Kong-based company converted Star Plus to a Hindi entertainment channel, and introduced Star World in the area as an English entertainment replacement.

In February 2001, The company rebranded from Star TV to Star, reflecting the company's evolution from a television brand to a multi-service, multi-platform brand. In Chinese, the company referred itself as Xīngkōng Chuánméi (Chinese: 星空傳媒; literally: "Star Media") instead of Wèixīng Diànshì from then on.

2009 restructure, refocus on East and Southeast Asia

On 19 August 2009, News Corporation announced a restructure of Star. Star India and Star Greater China would be separated from Star's headquarters in Hong Kong, and the heads of the former two companies would report directly to James Murdoch, News Corporation's then-Chairman and Chief Executive for Europe and Asia.[21][22][23]

  • Star India took over all of Star's operations in India, as well as sales and distribution of Fox-branded channels in the region. It also took over Star's distribution offices in the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Star Greater China would oversee Star Chinese Channel, Star Chinese Movies, Star Chinese Movies 2, Xing Kong and Channel V Mainland China, as well as Fortune Star film library.
  • The original Star TV company became Fox International Channels Asia Pacific, and would now focus on East and Southeast Asia. It also took over the representation of FIC channels from NGC Network Asia, LLC (the channels that were distributed by Star anyway). The company would continue to distribute its channels in the Middle East, and would take responsibility of the distribution of Star India and Star Greater China's channels in Asia outside their home markets.

Despite the 2009 reorganisations, the company did not immediately change its legal name from Satellite Television Asian Region Limited. It only changed legal name to Fox International Channels Asia Pacific Limited (Chinese: 福斯國際電視網有限公司; literally: "Fox International Television Network Limited") on 2 September 2014.

In August 2010, it was announced that News Corporation would sell a controlling stake in its assets in mainland China to China Media Capital (CMC).[24][25][26] Xing Kong (both domestic and international versions) and Channel V Mainland China, plus Fortune Star film library were in the sale,[24][25][26] and a joint venture named Star China Media was created in the process. CMC acquired the remaining stake in Star China Media in January 2014.[27][28][29]

In June 2012, it was announced that News Corporation would buy ESPN International's share in the joint venture ESPN Star Sports.[30][31] The versions of ESPN broadcast in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia were rebranded as Fox Sports on 28 January 2013,[32][33] and Star Sports became Fox Sports 2 on 15 August 2014.[34][35] The Fox Sports rebrand did not affect India and East Asia: In India, Star India took over ESPN Star Sports' Indian subsidiary,[36] and kept the ESPN name until 6 November 2013, when all of Star India's sports channels were relaunched under the Star Sports brand;[37][38][39] a version of Star Sports broadcast to mainland China and South Korea kept the brand, and instead, the version of ESPN for mainland China was renamed Star Sports 2 on 1 January 2014.

In the wake of 2011 News Corporation scandals, the original News Corporation was split into 21st Century Fox and the new News Corp on 28 June 2013, with the television businesses (which FIC Asia was a part of) going to 21st Century Fox.

In October 2013, 12.15% of share in Phoenix Television held by 21st Century Fox (through Star) was sold to TPG Capital for HK$1.66 billion (about USD $213.73 million).[40][41][42][43] This and 2014 sale of Star China Media marked 21st Century Fox's exit from Mandarin entertainment television market in mainland China.

By 2014, Fox International Channels Middle East took over the distribution of Star World, Star Movies, National Geographic-branded channels, Fox-branded channels, Channel V International, Baby TV and Sky News in the Middle East and North Africa from Star Select. (Now renamed Fox Networks Group Middle East, the Middle East business is, together with FNG Asia Pacific, still a part of the wider FNG Asia operations.)

In January 2016, the company's parent unit, Fox International Channels, was announced to be split into three divisions, which would see the heads of newly renamed Fox Networks Group Europe, Fox Networks Group Latin America and Fox Networks Group Asia all reporting to CEO Peter Rice and COO Randy Freer at Fox Networks Group in the United States, thus abolishing Fox International Channels as a separate unit from 21st Century Fox's television business in the U.S..[44] Accordingly, the company changed legal name to Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific Limited (Chinese: 福斯傳媒有限公司; literally: "Fox Media Limited") on 29 February 2016.

On 5 December 2017, Star India's Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar was appointed as 21st Century Fox's president for Asia, and the President of Fox Networks Group Asia would report directly to Shankar (instead of the equivalent at FNG U.S.).[45][46][47][48][49][50][51]

With The Walt Disney Company's pending acquisituon of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, FNG Asia Pacific (including FNG Taiwan, and FNG's remaining businesses in mainland China), as well as Star India, will become a part of Disney.

List of channels provided

Former channels

  • Xing Kong – also known as Star Space, Mandarin general entertainment channel in People's Republic of China.

Available on China, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Middle East, India, and Indonesia.

  • Star Chinese Channel – a 24-hour Mandarin general entertainment channel for audiences in Taiwan and beyond. It is one of the five original Star TV channels when it launched on 21 October 1991.

Available on Taiwan (Main Version) and International Version (Available On Hong Kong, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Middle East, USA and Canada).

  • Star Chinese Movies – a 24-hour Cantonese and Mandarin movie channel. One of the five original Star TV channels when it launched on 1 May 1994 as "Star Mandarin Movies" and re-launched on 31 March 1996 as "Star Chinese Movies".

Available on (Main Version) in Taiwan and Hong Kong and (International Version) on Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, USA and Canada)

  • Star Chinese Movies Legend – (Former Known STAR Chinese Movies 2) a 24-hour Cantonese and Mandarin movie channel that shows popular Chinese box-office hits from the 1970 until 1993. It is currently available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Indonesia, Middle East and Malaysia.
  • Star Entertainment Channel:The Pay TV Version Only Available in Taiwan
  • Phoenix Chinese Channel – a 24-hour Mandarin international news and entertainment channel it was launched on 31 March 1996.

Available on Asia Pacific and Middle East.

Available on Worldwide

Available on China and Middle East.

Available on Hong Kong, Asia Pacific (Except ASEAN), Middle East, Australia, and USA.

  • Star Sports – a 24-hour sports channel which is the evolution of Prime Sports devoted to different sporting events, such as cricket, auto racing, golf, and many more. It was also broadcast by ESPN Star Sports and one of the five original Star TV channels when it launched on 21 August 1991 as "Prime Sports" and re-launched on 21 August 1993 as "Star Sports". It was formerly known as Prime Sports.
  • Antv – an Indonesian national private commercial free-to-air terrestrial television channel in Indonesia.
  • Viva Cinema – Star TV's Filipino movie channel, a joint venture with VIVA Entertainment, launched on 6 May 1996. This channel ceased broadcasting on 31 July 2003 and relaunched in February 1, 2009
  • BBC World Service Television (now BBC World News) – a 24-hour English news channel and one of the original Star TV channels when it launched on 15 November 1991. It was a joint venture between BBC World News and Star TV, a subsidiary of BBC International Television, a member of BBC Television, and owned by BBC. It ended its affiliation on 30 April 1994 to broadcast separate ways, and it was replaced by Star Movies (now Fox Movies) and Star Chinese Movies (now Star Chinese Movies) on 1 May 1994.
  • Star News (now ABP News) – a 24-hour English and Mandarin news channel and one of the original Star TV channels when it launched on 15 November 1991. Star News ended its relationship with Star TV on 31 March 1996.
  • MTV Asia – a 24-hour music video channel and one of the original Star TV channels when it launched on 15 September 1991 a joint venture between MTV Networks Asia Pacific owner by Viacom and Star TV; but it ended its affiliation on 30 April 1994 to broadcast separate ways and was replaced by Channel V.
  • Prime Sports – a 24-hour English and Mandarin sports channel and one of the original Star TV channels when it launched on 21 August 1991 a joint venture between Prime Network and Star TV; but it ended its affiliation on 20 August 1993 to broadcast separate ways & it was replaced by Star Sports on 21 August 1993.
  • Film Indonesia – a 24-hour Indonesian movie channel.
  • Star Plus Japan – a 24-hour Japanese entertainment channel.
  • TechTV – a 24-hour computer channel. It was formerly seen in the Middle East via Star Select.
  • EL TV – a 24-hour Hindi entertainment channel. EL TV ended its relationship with Star TV in 1999.
  • Zee TV – a 24-hour Hindi entertainment channel. Zee Network ended its relationship with Star TV in 1999.
  • Zee Cinema – a 24-hour Hindi movie channel. Zee Network ended its relationship with Star TV in 1999.
  • CNBC Asia – a 24-hour English business news channel launched in 1996, This channel terminated within 2006 replacing CNBC Europe. It was formerly available in the Middle East via Star Select.
  • CNBC Europe – a 24-hour English business news channel, formerly available on Star Select in the Middle East. This channel was terminated on 31 March 2007.
  • The History Channel – a 24-hour history and biography channel in India. This channel was relaunched as Fox History and Entertainment in November 2008.
  • Jetix – a 24-hour kids channel, formerly available on Star Select in the Middle East. This channel was terminated on 30 November 2008.
  • Fox Sports – a 24-hour sports channel, available on Star Select in the Middle East. This channel was terminated on 31 December 2008.
  • Channel V Korea – a music channel, the South Korean affiliate of Channel V, launched on 16 June 2001. The channel was temporarily shut down on 31 December 2008.
  • Fox News Channel
  • BabyTV – the first 24-hour, commercial-free channel for children under pre-schoolers. This channel is now available in Worldwide.
  • Sky News this United Kingdom News Channel, Available On Europe, Asia Pacific.
  • ITV Granada – a 24-hour British entertainment from ITV plc now only available on Star Select in the Middle East, dropped from the line-up in the rest of Asia in 2002. It was formerly known as Granada UKTV and Granada TV.
  • Star Movies – a 24-hour English movie channel which broadcast to India, China, Middle East, Vietnam and Taiwan.
  • MBC ESPN – a 24-hour sports channel it joint venture between ESPN and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
  • ESPN – a 24-hour sports channel with broadcast by ESPN Star Sports (ESS) a joint venture with ESPN International.
  • ESPNews Asia – a 24-hour sports news channel.
  • SBS ESPN – a 24-hour sports channel it joint venture between ESPN and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).
  • National Geographic Channel
  • Nat Geo People – formerly known as A1 and Nat Geo Adventure.
  • Nat Geo Wild – a 24-hour channel available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East, Republic of China, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.
  • National Geographic Channel HD – a 24-hour available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Taiwan and Malaysia only.
  • Fox Crime – the first and only 24-hour factual and fictional entertainment television channel dedicated to crime, investigation and mystery. Available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Middle East and South Korea.
  • FX – a 24-hour channel offering a broad mix programming targeted at male audiences including comedy, action sports, drama series, reality shows, cars and swimsuit model programs. It is available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Malaysia only.
  • Channel [V] – a 24-hour international music video channel. There are local versions of Channel [V] in India, People's Republic of China, Republic of China, Philippines, Thailand and Australia.
  • Star World – a 24-hour English entertainment channel with to Southeast Asia and one of the five original Star TV channels when it launched on 15 December 1991 as "Star Plus" and re-launched on 31 March 1996 as "Star World".

Corporate governance

Criticism and controversy

Removal of BBC WSTV from line-up

The BBC and Star TV originally signed a deal that the Hong Kong operator would carry the BBC channel for 10 years.[15] But in March 1994, the BBC and Star TV reached a deal after an out of court settlement, that would gradually drop BBC World Service Television from the satellite broadcaster's offerings. BBC WSTV would be dropped from the channel line-up for the Northeast Asia by mid-April that year, but would be available in the rest of Asia until 31 March 1996.[16][52] The deal came after such demands from the government of the People's Republic of China.[53]

It is alleged that the PRC government was unhappy with BBC coverage of China,[53] and Murdoch's September 1993 speech which declared "(telecommunications) have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere ... satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels",[53][54] so the Beijing government threatened to block Star TV in the huge mainland Chinese market if the BBC was not withdrawn.[53] The former prime minister Li Peng requested and obtained the ban of satellite dishes throughout the country.[54]

There was also a reported concerns surrounding editorial control of BBC WSTV after News Corporation's acquisition of Star TV[15]

The subsequent removal of the BBC channel, and many ensuing declaration from Murdoch, led critics to believe the businessman was striving to appease the Chinese government in order to have the ban lifted.[54] Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) gave Rupert Murdoch a mock award titled "P.U.-litzer Prize" for "Media Hypocrite of the Year" in 1994.[53]

In 2001, the BBC and CITVC signed a deal which would make BBC World available to "upmarket hotels, as well as guest houses and foreign apartments" in mainland China.[55]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ilott, Terry "Mounter: prez, Hutchvision" Variety February 8, 1993
  2. ^ "Wharf pacts with HutchVision" Variety June 7, 1993
  3. ^ "Star TV drops Wharf pact" Reuters February 28, 1994 via Variety
  4. ^ a b c Amoore, Topaz; Nisse, Jason (2 May 1993). "Pearson chases TV stake in Hong Kong". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b Ipsen, Erik (July 28, 1993). "Pearson Sheds Units to Focus More on Media". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b Dawtrey, Adam (July 28, 1993). "Star-crossed Pearson rethinks". Variety. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b Tam, Luisa "News buys Star TV" South China Morning Post 27 July 1993 SCMP was owned by News Corporation at the time of announcement.
  8. ^ a b Palmer, Rhonda (27 July 1993). "Murdoch catches rising Star". Variety. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  9. ^ Shenon, Philip (23 August 1993). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Star TV Extends Murdoch's Reach". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Sean "Mogul takes all of Star" South China Morning Post 19 July 1995
  11. ^ a b "Murdoch Takes Over Star" Variety July 24, 1995
  12. ^ Courtney, Christine "Hong Kong Rich Kid Turns Asia on Its Headset : Media: Richard Li declines family job to found satellite-TV venture. Next goal is pan-Asian 'information exchange.'" Los Angeles Times April 11, 1994
  13. ^ Palmer, Rhonda (August 4, 1993). "Mounter dismounts Star TV". Variety. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  14. ^ Hotten, Russell; Poole, Teresa (5 August 1993). "Mounter quits as StarTV chief". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Nisse, Jason (8 August 1993). "BSkyB chief in move to Murdoch's Star TV". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Murdoch's STAR TV to drop BBC" UPI March 22, 1994
  17. ^ Mir Maqbool Alam Khan (December 9, 1996). "CHANNEL V DON ATYEO: HONG KONG". Advertising Age. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Rival sport channels ESPN, Star TV team up together". Advertising Age. October 9, 1996. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Maureen (January 15, 1997). "Asian TV team christens venture ESPN Star Sports". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  20. ^ Sullivan, Maureen "Star TV finds new satellite platform" Variety May 5, 1999
  21. ^ "News Corporation Restructures Broadcast Businesses in Asia" (press release) News Corporation 18 August 2009 Archived from the original on 27 August 2009
  22. ^ Watkins, Mary; Li, Kenneth "News Corp announces Star TV shake-up" Financial Times August 19, 2009
  23. ^ Chu, Karen (18 August 2009). "News Corp. confirms STAR TV breakup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  24. ^ a b Young, Doug "News Corp sells controlling stake in China TV channels" Reuters August 9, 2010
  25. ^ a b Chu, Karen "News Corp. sells Chinese-language channels to CMC" Associated Press August 9, 2010 (via The Hollywood Reporter)
  26. ^ a b Coonan, Clifford "China Media Capital buys Star China" Variety August 9, 2010
  27. ^ "Star China’s Management Team and China Media Capital to Acquire 21st Century Fox’s Entire Stake in Star China TV Joint Venture" 21st Century Fox Business Wire January 2, 2014
  28. ^ Patnaik, Sampad "21st Century Fox sells Star China TV stake" Reuters January 2, 2014
  29. ^ William, Christopher. "Rupert Murdoch gives up on China with sale of Star China TV". The Telegraph. Teleghraph UK. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
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  32. ^ Terrado, Reuben (9 January 2013). "ESPN fades off in Asia as Fox takes over". Spin.ph. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  33. ^ Chan, U-Gene (24 January 2013). "ESPN network to be renamed FOX Sports in Singapore, Asia". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  34. ^ Christensen, Nic (July 4, 2014). "Fox to reorganises its sports channels". Mumbrella Asia. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
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  37. ^ Engineer, Tariq (31 January 2013). "As ESPN turns to Fox, expect more local Indian sports programming". Firstpost. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
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External links

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