In Brief

Discovery re-organizes to extend consumer reach...
September 1, 2000

Discovery re-organizes to extend consumer reach

Two years after launching branded merchandise in the U.S. and six months after scooping senior VP of international consumer and educational products Judy Harris from Binney & Smith Crayola Brand (a division of Hallmark), Discovery Communications is focusing more attention on the global consumer products market. DCI recently established an eight-person team to market and sell such items as plush toys and educational games outside of the u.s. Although DCI consumer products are already available in more than 60 countries, the plan is to hook up with regional and multinational companies, and localize production. SR

New TVO arts strand

TVOntario will be launching a new arts doc strand scheduled to air winter 2000 on Thursday evenings at 10:00 p.m. The programs will consist mostly of hour-long to feature-length acquired material that is Canadian produced. The stand is not yet named. KB

Sundance Spanish-style

Spain’s Multicanal and the Sundance Channel in the u.s. have agreed to distribute the film channel into Spain and Portugal. The channel is likely to be ready to air at the end of this year, or the beginning of next. Multicanal operates five thematic channels, including Odisea and Canal de Historia. Multicanal’s shareholders are Disney/ABC Television and UPC. BC

Glasnost takes hold?

Filmland News reports Yevgeny Tsymbal’s Ordinary Bolshevism, a doc on Lenin and Bolshevik terrorism, got the cold shoulder at the Moscow International Film Festival, and several others. Tsymbal says the rejection was not an editorial decision. ‘When I offered the film to all the national TV stations last fall, they were pretty frank about their reasons for rejecting it: politics. RTR, the state channel, said I should wait six months or a year and see what turned out politically. They did not know which way the political winds were blowing. Now RTR tells me they don’t want the film at all. They accuse me of abusing a sacred cow – Lenin.’

TVC buys rest of MBC

Continuing the trend among U.K. indies towards growth and consolidation, The Television Corporation (TVC) will buy the 50% of prodco Mentorn Barraclough Carey (MBC) it does not already own. The deal, reportedly valued at us$37.5 million, is planned for September. TVC acquired the initial 50% of MBC for $3.75 million last September. KB

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.