For the record

A weekly compendium of news from the non-fiction world.
January 31, 2001

The CRTC, Canada’s regulatory body, has granted National Geographic Channels International and Alliance Atlantic Communications (Nat Geo’s joint venture partner) four licenses to launch Nat Geo channels in Canada in 2001.

London-based distributor TVF International has signed an output deal with JustTV that includes the commission of four crime series for broadcaster U.K. Horizon. JustTV and TVFI also plan to jointly develop factual content for 2002 and beyond.

National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS in the U.S. have decided to pool their production and promotion efforts. Cross-promotion will occur both online and on-air, NPR and PBS merchandise will be available via e-commerce on both and NPR Online, and live web events will be coproduced. NPR’s hourly news updates will also appear on PBS’ web site, and joint television productions will be explored.

NBC Enterprises and Hearst-Argyle Television are merging their production and distribution units. The new outlet will create syndication first-run and original cable programming.

MSNBC Sales and NBC Network Sales are consolidating under the leadership of Keith Turner, president of NBC Network Ad Sales. The move is meant to promote cross-platform sales of NBC News programs.

Zone Vision has renewed its contract with MTV Europe, which currently has the London-based distributor/producer handling negotiations for the carriage of MTV Europe and VH1 in Eastern Europe. The new contract extends over the next five years, incorporates new territories and includes the four digital channels MTV launched in the U.K. one year ago.

The second AITED Pitch will take place on May 23, 2001, during the World Education Market (WEM) in Vancouver, Canada. About five producers will be chosen to pitch their project, which will be judged by panelists and the audience. Winners take home CDN$4,000 and the opportunity to screen the finished product at WEM 2002.

Canal+ has sold its 39% stake in Eurosport France and its 49.5% interest in Eurosport International to TFI. The sale is valued at FF2 billion.

The 2nd International Human Rights Film Festival is currently accepting film and video entries. The event takes place in Nuremberg from September 12 to 16, 2001 and the deadline for submission is May 31, 2001. For information and entry forms contact: Bankverbindung: Schmidt Bank Nurnberg (BLZ 760 300 70) Kto.Nr.101 27 007.

The History Channel is promoting its Modern Marvels Survival Guide Weekseries, airing this week and hosted by former Survivor Rudy Boesch, with a toll-free hotline offering survival advice. Call 1-866-in-a-jam-1 for Rudy’s advice on such topics as ‘What to do if you ate a blowfish for dinner.’

TV Books and Adobe Systems are publishing and distributing the eBook edition of Surivor II: The Field Guide,authored by Mark Burnett, exec producer of the famed reality series Survivor. On January 29, 2001, the Adobe eBook version was made available exclusively through the Barnes and Noble web site, one day after the paperback version – also published by TV Books – was released. Marketing efforts saw promotional emails sent to Barnes & and Adobe customers.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is reportedly considering creating a new outstanding reality program category that allows shows like Survivor to be properly recognized at the Emmy awards. Reality series are currently eligible for the outstanding nonfiction series category (formerly the informational series category), and reality specials fall under outstanding nonfiction special. Apparently, there is some uncertainty as to how the new reality products should be classified.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has granted non-fiction filmmakers their own branch within the Academy, giving them a direct vote on the board.

Walt Disney announced it will shut down portal and concentrate its internet efforts on the web sites of its studio properties.

After eight months, Toronto’s Hot Docs! reports that over 50% of the projects pitched at it’s forum have raised funding as a direct result of their presentation.

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.