The CBC, Canada’s pubcaster, has announced where the CDN$60 million infusion of government money is headed: $19 million will go to English television, $12 million to French, $7 million to CBC Radio and $2 million to new media projects.
Vivendi Universal-owned StudioCanal has increased its stake in French prodco/distributor the Expand Group to 52%.
TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis has promised to save or cut US$8.5 million from the pubcaster’s budget to help offset a softening advertising market and a weakened N.Z. dollar.
Big Brother producer Robert Caplain and Temptation Island supervising producer Thomas Colamaria have joined together to launch a new prodco, Company C. Fox Television Studios has taken an equity stake in the new venture, and will handle international distribution.
German post house Das Werk has increased its commitment to production company FFP Media, upping its stake from 50% to 81%.
TLC has signed on with toy producer JAKKS Pacific to create customizable toy vehicles, contraptions and a complete line of play sets to compliment the Junkyard Wars brand.
Princeton’s Films for the Humanities & Sciences has signed an agreement with the University of Maryland’s College Park campus to make available more than 1,000 titles from the FFH&S collection on the University’s video on demand system.
In London, The Observer is reporting that a media consortium including Chrysalis, BSkyB, web CBS and Bloomberg is poised to undercut ITN’s tender to supply ITV with news. ITN has had the contract for the entire 40 years of ITV’s existence. The Observer reports an ITN exec saying ITN will not bid below US$37 million for the contract.
In the U.S., A&E has inked Sandra Bernhard to do five episodes of The Sandra Bernhard Experience. Intended to lure younger viewers to the net, the show could evolve into a series if reaction is strong.
HBO is producing Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Baltimore Ravens in association with NFL Films. The series will track the lives of football players and coaches while they prep for the season.
In Canada, Rogers Media has sold its cable holdings in Alaska for US$19 million.
Look for a new event to explore the role of the media in shaping regional identities – Mirror Europe will take place in Sweden from September 13 to 15. For information, please visit //www.mirroreurope.com
Filmland News is reporting that Czech producers want more from their government – or rather less. The producers want the government to break up the monopoly on production funding that is being held by the state channel. The producers are suggesting a levy on video sales and rentals as a way of raising funds.