The deadline for entries for the 22nd Banff Television Festival is February 19. For the 2001 incarnation, the festival will be giving away prizes totaling more than CND$100,000 (US$65,000). See www.banfftvfest.com for details.
The deadline for pitch slot submissions for Toronto’s Hot Docs is February 16. For more information, see www.hotdocs.ca.
New York’s Oxygen Media will soon be enjoying an extra US$100 million investment from Vulcan Ventures.
German pubcaster ZDF has renewed its agreement with Discovery Communications. Over the next two years, the pubcaster has committed to 200 hours of existing Discovery programming and a total of at least 18 hours of coproduction between itself and Discovery Germany. In turn, Discovery will pick up 62 hours of ZDF programming for the German Discovery service and for its other international services.
U.K. distributor Electric Sky has inked a production and distribution deal with the Einstein Channel of Germany (and soon to be U.K. – for more on the Einstein Channel, please see the December issue of RealScreen). The company will handle programming from Einstein Entertainment – the channels production arm.
Discovery Networks International has launched its filmmakers initiative into Southeast Asia. Discovery Networks Asia will oversee the effort, which hopes to spring new talent from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan. Themes, guidelines and deadlines will be announced by the end of February, but the final result of the effort will be a 6 x 30-minute series.
London’s Zone Vision will launch Reality TV (co-owned with UPCtv) into Africa on the Multichoice platform.
Discovery Networks International has opened an office in Denmark in order to oversee Discovery Networks Nordic, and has established an in-house ad sales team in the Taiwan office.
The Washington Post has reported that Discovery Communications is laying off 40% of the 200 employees in its online operations division. The report also claims that 150 of discovery.com’s contract workers will also be laid off. The moves come as Discovery shifts its focus towards its core television business.
TLC’s executive VP and general manager Jana Bennett has received the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for her contributions to science in the media world.