For the Record

A weekly compendium of news from the non-fiction world.
March 21, 2001

The national cinema sidebar at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (September 6 to 15, 2001) will focus on Scandinavia. The festival has yet to reveal what films will screen in the program, which is titled Nordic Visions: Recent Films from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Outdoor adventure programmer Charlie West Productions and VideoLore have merged to create StepOutdoors. The new entity will provide outdoor content for television and new media.

The National Geographic Society has entered into an agreement with music label Tambourine that sees the San Francisco-based company become the exclusive music partner of National Geographic. Tambourine will develop, market and distribute a world music audio series under the Nat Geo brand, and is readying to launch Destination World Music this spring – a series that will feature music from various regions around the globe.

U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV has completed a US$144 million deal with satellite group SES that will allow it to launch a slate of new digital satellite services.

Music/entertainment distributor NBDtv has agreed to represent new programming and selected back catalog titles from prodcos Warner Vision and CreaTVty.

Portugal’s TV Cabo has inked a deal with Two Way TV in the U.K. to add interactive games to its service. A pilot phase is currently in operation with a commercial launch expected for mid-2001.

The U.K.’s SmashedAtom will design and build an interactive TV service for Living Health, expected to launch early this summer. WellBeing, another online/on-air health service, was launched by Granada Media and Boots pharmacy last week.

A NOTA (New on the Air) study – which tracks the performance of new programs – found that reality shows accounted for three percent of new titles introduced for the fall 2000 schedules in Europe, Australia and the U.S. It also notes that ratings are lower for second runs of such programs.

Approaching deadlines for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival include: Friday March 23, for Toronto Documentary Forum observer seats; Monday March 26, for Cyber Pitch slots at the Cutting Truths conference; Friday March 30, for Early Bird registration.

The submission deadline for the Australian Broadcasting Corporations’ contestables – designed to invite program ideas from the independent and in-house production sectors – is April 11. Areas of consideration include: documentary series on any theme, health and science.

Universal Studios has restructured: Universal Studios Television Distribution is now a division of Universal Pictures.

Discovery Communications and Southern Traverse will stage September’s Discovery Channel World Championship Adventure Race in the Swiss Alps.

Swedish Language Television will be among the three new digital channels the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) plans to launch at the end of August. Despite the fact that the acquisitions departments of YLE TV1 and TV2 plan to consolidate, the acquisition process at YLE/Swedish Language TV will sustain only minor changes: As of April 17, Marika Ginman will become acquisitions assistant, children’s programming. Effective August 2001, Petra Holm will take the post of head of acquisitions and coproductions.

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.