Profit high for Hit
U.K.-based distribution/coproduction company Hit Entertainment reports a near doubling of its pre-tax profits for the six months prior to January 1998. Profit grew by 91% to £1.4 million compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. The company expects to draw more profit in the future from its self-produced programs, as opposed to those it solely distributes.
West 175 and BBC Worldwide to cook for PBS
Seattle, U.S.-based prodco West 175 Enterprises and BBC Worldwide have teamed up in a joint venture to supply cooking shows to PBS.
To kick things off, a 39 x 30-minute series will be produced by West 175, wherein host Molly O’Neill, the New York Times food critic, will introduce U.K. chefs to the U.S. audience.
Six BBC shows will be repackaged for the U.S. market under the Great Foods brand. West 175, which has expertise in licensing and merchandising, will coproduce a companion book to be sold via a toll-free number after each broadcast. Subsequent books, including some titles already published in the U.K., will then be rolled out across the U.S.
Pilot makes more Planets
London, U.K.-based producer Pilot Productions has announced its intention to double the length of the fifth season of its popular series Lonely Planet.
The new season will include 26 episodes, and plans are already in the works for a sixth in 1999. dci’s Travel Channel precipitated the increase in output, hoping to fill more slots with the award-winning series.
BSkyB to marketjoint-venture channels
Sky Ventures, a new subsidiary of BSkyB led by recently appointed chief executive Mark Booth, has been created to manage and develop all of the company’s joint-venture-channel interests. The move is partly designed to market the value of the portfolio, which includes National Geographic Television, to advertisers, carriers and producers. James Ackerman, director of multi-channel co-ventures, has been named managing director of the new venture.
Canal+ numbers up since end 1997
Canal+ has experienced subscriber growth across the board on all its services since the beginning of 1998. In France, the service has 100,000 new subscribers, with a similar number coming aboard in Italy. Almost 250,000 new Spanish subscribers were reported, including 175,000 to CanalSatelite.
CNN signs with Super TV
U.S.-based news network cnn has signed a three-year deal with Taiwan’s Super TV News for excerpts of CNN International News. Super TV News will also begin contributing news reports from Taiwan for CNN’s daily World Report on CNN.
Up front: Non-fiction News