In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission has approved News Corp’s acquisition of 10 new stations, making it the biggest owner in the country. The approval gives News Corp access to more than the 35% of American televisions allowed by FCC regulations, but the regulator has given the company additional time for it to divest itself of enough stations to bring it under the limit.
The Vancouver International Film Festival and the dCinema Entertainment Group (also of Van) are partnering to launch PitchOFF West 2001, an opportunity for six filmmakers to pitch to a defenseless panel of industry execs. For more details, visit http://www.pitchoff.com
Promax, the annual U.K. conference for TV promotion and marketing, has extended its entry deadline until August 10. For more details, visit http://www.promax-uk.org and click on Registration.
Beyond International of Australia has established a joint venture prodco – Pacific & Beyond – with producer Ron Saunders. The new company will focus on docs, as well as children’s T.V. and feature films.
The Extreme Sports Channel has expanded into the Middle East and North Africa on the Showtime pay-TV platform.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has given Planete the okay to expand into Canada. The French channel can already be found in several European and francophone African nations.
Toronto’s Alliance Atlantis will offer eight million non-voting shares to help raise funds. AAC has a number of new channels launching in Canada over the next year.
BBC director general Greg Dyke plans to cut out Beeb-sponsored snacking, after reports showed that as much as £300,000 a year is being spent on snacks for employees.
From the just-how-far-can-it-go-before-something-biblical-happens files: Playboy TV is getting into the reality game with Seven Lives Exposed, a weekly half-hour series which features seven young adults who are trying to make it big by having their sex lives webcast on the internet.