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Upfront: Unapix sends more medicine overseas

In hopes of expanding its success in the health and medicine genre, L.A-based Unapix International has acquired international distribution rights to short-form health and medicine programming produced by Allentown, u.s.-based Medstar....
March 1, 1998

In hopes of expanding its success in the health and medicine genre, L.A-based Unapix International has acquired international distribution rights to short-form health and medicine programming produced by Allentown, u.s.-based Medstar.

Unapix will offer, on a subscription basis, three pre-packaged b-roll short-form programs, Health Matters, Advances Plus and Med Source, which can be customized by individual stations to use as features on local news broadcasts and magazine programs. These Medstar segments currently run daily on over 400 stations in the United States.

At press time, Unapix was finalizing deals which would bring the programming into several markets, including Scandinavia, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The distributor has already successfully sold long-form health and medicine library product, such as Healthy Women 2000 and The Cutting Edge Medical Report, both produced by Information Television Network, into those regions.

Over 1,000 one- to five-minute Medstar segments are available for distribution, with more available on a daily basis. During the last four years, the health and medicine genre has become an important source of program distribution for Unapix. The acquisition of the foreign distribution rights for Medstar programming brings its total inventory to over 300 hours in this content area.

The Medstar segments are b-roll content, requiring no recutting by Unapix. It will be able to pre-package 13 weeks of material ready to air within seven to ten days of signed contracts. Stations can use voice-over with the footage, or have their local ‘health expert’ speak to lend the appearance that it is locally produced. Aside from being able to maximize high-quality programming content they would normally not be able to afford to produce on their own, stations can use the segments as commodities to sell sponsorships to local advertisers.

‘Because of the opportunities created by the growth of cable, satellite and new terrestrial channels, [stations] are clamoring for this kind of information,’ says Scott Hanock, managing director, international sales and marketing for Unapix.

Hanock expects the segments to begin airing within 60 days.

Also see:

-Upfront: For the Record and other briefs

- ITV censured on serious doc output; ITC labelled ‘reluctant policeman’

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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