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In The News
Disney Projects 20 Percent Growth For 2003
BURBANK, November 8: The Walt Disney Company's chairman and CEO, Michael D. Eisner, anticipates more than 20 percent growth for the company next year. Eisner made the projections upon the release of the company's year-end results, which saw revenues up 1 percent to $25.3 billion and operating income down 28 percent to $2.9 billion.
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Univision Delivers Revenue and Audience Gains
LOS ANGELES, November 8: Spanish-language media company Univision Communications has announced third quarter revenue gains of 22 percent and a net income increase of 128 percent.
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FOX Latin America Adds Reba and Still Standing To Schedule
LOS ANGELES, November 8: Family sitcoms Reba and Still Standing -- both distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox International Television -- have been added to FOX Latin America's Wednesday night prime-time schedule.
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Broadway Video Enterprises Takes International Sales for The Man Show
NEW YORK, November 8: FremantleMedia has chosen Broadway Video Enterprises (BVE) to handle the international program sales for its series, The Man Show. The agreement covers 74 half-hours from the series' first three seasons.
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Nat Geo Expands Ad Sales in France, Switzerland
LONDON, November 8: The National Geographic Channel (NGC) has teamed with National Geographic Magazine (NGM) in France and Switzerland to expand its ad sales operations in those two markets.
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MTV Networks International Teams With Tiger Aspect For New Kids' Series
LONDON, November 8: MTV Networks International is co-producing a live-action kids' series with the U.K.'s Tiger Aspect Productions.
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MGM To Co-Produce New Drama For Showtime
NEW YORK, November 8: Showtime in the U.S. has given the green light to MGM for a new drama series about a lesbian community in Los Angeles.
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Televisa and Univision Name Management Team for Joint Venture
LOS ANGELES/MEXICO CITY, November 7: Univision Communications and Grupo Televisa have appointed a management team for their 50/50 joint venture to distribute Spanish-language channels on digital cable and satellite platforms in the U.S.
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Broadcasters In Asia Convene In Japan, Welcome Return of Afghani Station
TOKYO, November 7: The General Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) kicked off yesterday (November 6) in Tokyo with the organization welcoming the return of Radio-Television of Afghanistan.
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PorchLight Entertainment Names New Licensing Agents for Jay Jay
LOS ANGELES, November 7: PorchLight Entertainment is hoping to expand its Jay Jay The Jet Plane brand into Eastern Europe and the Benelux territories with two new licensing agents, Eastern European Merchandising and Bruno Productions.
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News Corp. Announces Solid Quarterly Results
SYDNEY, November 6: Revenues at News Corporation increased 12 percent to $3.8 billion in the first quarter results released yesterday. The gains were attributed mostly to the U.S. operation, where the company saw ratings and subscriber growth in cable channels Fox News and FX, and ad revenue gains at Fox stations.
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Nelvana To Be Integrated With Corus Television Division
TORONTO, November 6: Corus Entertainment will combine the operations of its kids programming outfit Nelvana with its television business unit. The move places leadership of Nelvana into the hands of Paul Robertson, the president of Corus's television division.
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Chabin Returns to Top Spot at PROMAX&BDA;
LOS ANGELES, November 6: Former PROMAX&BDA; president and CEO Jim Chabin is reclaiming the position he held at the organization from 1992 to 1999.
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Playboy TV Launches in Hong Kong
MIAMI BEACH, November 6: Playboy TV launched on the Hong Kong Cable platform as a 24-hour channel on November 1.
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Anna Nicole Heads For Scandinavia
LOS ANGELES, November 6: E! Networks has signed deals with Viasat Broadcasting and Finland's Channel 4 for the reality sitcom The Anna Nicole Show.
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The Most Extreme Returns For Second Season
NEW ZEALAND/BETHESDA, November 6: Animal Planet and factual programming producer NHNZ will team up again for the second season of The Most Extreme.
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Rai Picks Up Additional Episodes of Telefe Format
BUENOS AIRES, November 6: Telefe's format El Legado has been re-upped for 100 episodes at Italy's Rai 1.
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WGBH International To Distribute Jimmy Carter Bio
BOSTON, November 6: WGBH International has the distribution rights to Jimmy Carter, the 3x1 hour biography of the former U.S. president and this year's winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Parthenon Entertainment Signs Deal with National Wildlife Federation
LONDON, November 6: U.K. factual producer/distributor Parthenon Entertainment has signed a programming deal with the National Wildlife Federation in the U.S. to distribute its wildlife TV series.
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New Agreement in Mexico Increases Distribution for Discovery Channels
MIAMI, November 5: Discovery Networks Latin America/Iberia has extended its current agreement with Mexico's PCTV through 2007. The new deal, which takes effect on January 1, 2003, will boost distribution of Discovery Health in Mexico by 1.1 million and Discovery Travel & Adventure by more than 500,000.
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Carlton International Sells Movie Package to New Zealand
LONDON, November 5: Sky Television in New Zealand has acquired a 30-title movie package from Carlton International for a six-figure sum.
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RTL Receives Green Light for n-tv Takeover
BRUSSELS, November 5: The European Commission has cleared RTL Group's 170 million euros acquisition of the TV and radio assets of German publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck.
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Entertainment Rights Expands Portfolio with Transformers Armada
LONDON, November 5: Boys action property Transformers Armada has joined Entertainment Rights portfolio of kids' programming. The U.K. distributor has secured the international television and video rights -- excluding North America -- to the property.
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Canadian Producer Picks Up Distraction's STRIPSEARCH
LONDON, November 5: Distraction Formats has announced that Canadian producers Blueprint Entertainment have picked up its reality format STRIPSEARCH…the real full monty.
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NBC To Buy Bravo Cable Network
NEW YORK, November 4: NBC has come to an agreement to acquire Bravo, the Film and Arts Network, for $1.25 billion. The cable channel is currently owned by Cablevision Systems Corporation (80 percent) and MGM (20 percent.)
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U.S. Authorities Investigating Vivendi Universal
PARIS, November 4: Vivendi Universal has confirmed that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has opened a preliminary criminal investigation into the company. The Miami office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also been conducting an informal inquiry.
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Rigel Extends Mary Higgins Clark Franchise
LOS ANGELES/VANCOUVER, November 4: Rigel Entertainment, in association with Canada's Edge Entertainment and Hollywood producers Lance H. Robbins and Bruce Cohn Curtis, has launched seven new TV movies based on the novels by suspense author Mary Higgins Clark.
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Disney Animation Chief Considers Leaving Company
LOS ANGELES, November 4: Thomas Schumacher, the head of the animation group at The Walt Disney Co., may leave his job in June, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times.
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Muse Announces Sales For Jane Doe TV Movie
MONTREAL, November 4: The Lifetime Network in the U.S. is among the broadcasters that have acquired the rights to Muse Distribution International's The Many Trials of One Jane Doe.
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BSkyB Taps MTV Veteran To Head Music Channels
LONDON, November 4: Lester Mordue, currently head of programming at VH1 in the U.K., will move to BSkyB next year to launch the satellite platform's three new music channels.
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Canada's Mainframe Opens Global Sales and Marketing Unit
VANCOUVER, November 4: Computer animation specialists Mainframe Entertainment have established a global sales division to be based in Mainframe USA's offices in Los Angeles. The operation will be run by Joy Tashjian, newly named VP of worldwide sales and marketing.
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Action Time To Distribute Gurin's The Human Clock
LONDON/LOS ANGELES, November 4: Action Time in the U.K. has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to The Human Clock, a game show format from The Gurin Company. Gurin will retain the North American rights to the show.
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MIPTV and MILIA To Have Closer Ties
PARIS, November 1: Reed Midem has announced that MILIA will take place alongside MIPTV in 2003. The annual TV market is set to begin on March 24; MILIA will be held two days later, from March 26 to 28.
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Walt Disney and ESPN Team For New Animation
BURBANK, November 1: Walt Disney Television Animation Special Projects has created a series of 15-second animated shorts that will air with select ESPN Original Entertainment programming in the U.S.
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Al-Jazeera Plans English-Language Broadcasts
QATAR, November 1: Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera plans to begin dubbing its news broadcasts into English, with a view to launching a full English-language channel, according to The Times in the U.K.
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KirchMedia To Be Sold to German Consortium, KirchSport to Former Adidas Head
MUNICH, October 31: KirchMedia will be sold to a German consortium made up of publisher Heinrich Bauer Verlag and the country's second-largest bank, the HVB Group, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times today. KirchSport meanwhile will be sold to Switzerland-based former Adidas head Robert Louis-Dreyfus and Jacobs AG.
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Messier Allegedly Withheld Information About Vivendi's Cash Crisis
PARIS, October 31: Vivendi Universal's deposed CEO, Jean-Marie Messier, kept the company's financial troubles hidden from investors for months, says a report in today's Wall Street Journal.
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U.S. Authorities Sue to Block EchoStar-DirecTV Merger
HARRISBURG, October 31: The Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Department of Justice and 22 U.S. states have filed a lawsuit against EchoStar and Hughes Electronics in an effort to block their proposed merger.
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BBC Launches Digital Terrestrial Package
LONDON, October 31: The BBC's digital terrestrial television service Freeview has launched in the U.K.
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Muse Secures Deals with European and Middle Eastern Broadcasters
MONTREAL, October 31: Canada's Muse Distribution International has announced a number of program sales to international broadcasters, including the pick-up of The Investigation by BBC One.
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STAR Revamps Hindi Movie Channel
HONG KONG, October 31: STAR is repositioning its STAR Gold Hindi movie channel with a new programming schedule and a revamped on-air identity.
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Xystus Picks Up Worldwide Rights to Mexican Films
MIAMI, October 31: Programming distributor Xystus now has the worldwide theatrical, home video and broadcasting rights, excluding the U.S., for a number of productions from Altavista Films.
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Vivendi Universal Rejects Vodafone Offer
PARIS, October 30: Vivendi Universal (VU) has rejected Vodafone's 6.77 billion euro bid for a 44-percent controlling stake in French telecommunications company Cegetel. During a board meeting yesterday (October 29,) the company decided that Vodafone's offer ''does not reflect the true value of Cegetel.''
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Redstone Expresses Optimism Over Karmazin's Future
NEW YORK, October 30: Viacom chairman Sumner M. Redstone expressed optimism yesterday (October 29) that the company's president and COO, Mel Karmazin, would remain with Viacom. Redstone made the comments at the Gerard Klauer Mattison media conference.
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Fox Pulls The Plug on David E. Kelley's Girls Club
LOS ANGELES, October 30: Fox has cancelled David E. Kelley's Girls Club just two weeks after it launched on the network.
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Globo Puts Hold on Debt-Payment, Receives Lower Credit Rating
SÃO PAULO, October 30: Brazilian media company Globopar has put a 90-day-hold on its debt payments because of the country's weak economy and currency devaluation.
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BBC America Picks Up Southern Star's Wire in the Blood
LONDON, October 30: Southern Star Sales has sold its detective franchise Wire in the Blood to BBC America. The channel is expected to broadcast the series this December.
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Three Nets To Hold Board of Governors Meetings at NATPE
LOS ANGELES, October 30: U.S. networks CBS, Fox and NBC will all hold board of governors meetings at NATPE 2003, which will be held from January 20 to 23 in New Orleans.
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New U.S./Canadian Sports Channel to Launch in the U.K.
DUBLIN, October 29: Vulcan European Media and Setanta Sport plan to launch the North American Sports Network on the U.K.'s Sky platform on December 1. Cable distribution is planned for 2003.
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Jornadas 2002 Set for November 12 to 14
BUENOS AIRES, October 29: The Argentine Cable Television Association will hold its annual convention, Jornadas ATVC, at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Buenos Aires from November 12 to 14.
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Egypt Special Breaks Records for Nat Geo International
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28: The premiere of Egypt: Secret Chambers Revealed on National Geographic Channels International has delivered the network its highest ratings since its launch in 1997.
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Southern Star Sales Announces Deals in France, Italy
LONDON, October 28: Southern Star Sales has signed an output deal for factual programming and drama with France's AB Droits and has licensed McLeod's Daughers to Cattleya in Italy.
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Travel and Docs Push Beyond's MIPCOM Sales To 464 Hours
LONDON/SYDNEY, October 28: Travel series and documentaries were strong sellers for Beyond Distribution at MIPCOM, helping to drive the company's sales at the market to 464 hours.
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Jordan TV Comes to the U.S. Via GlobeCast
MIAMI, October 28: Direct-to-home television provider GlobeCast has added Jordan TV to its WorldTV broadcast platform on Telstar 5.
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Israeli Movie Channel to Offer Films from Bollywood
TEL AVIV, October 28: Jasmine TV, which operates four pay movie channels on Israel's three cable platforms, will add Indian films to its Cinema Prime channel.
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EchoStar Attempts to Salvage DirecTV Deal
LITTLETON, October 28: U.S. satellite TV company EchoStar is reportedly making another attempt to acquire General Motors' Hughes Electronics by yielding some of its frequencies and satellites to Cablevision.
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EM.TV Signs Three-Year Deal with Swiss Broadcaster
MUNICH, October 28: Swiss national broadcaster SF DRS has committed to air a minimum of 1,752 episodes of programming each year from EM.TV & Merchandising as part of a three-year deal.
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BANFF Sets Date For History 2003
BERLIN, October 28: The Banff Television Foundation (BTVF) has announced that the third annual World Congress of History Producers, History 2003, will take place in Paris from December 7 to 10 next year. France Television will be the host broadcaster.
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