In Germany, Igel Media has signed a first-look deal with Sweden’s Scandinature films for the producer’s documentary output. Igel will now also handle Scandinature’s international distribution outside Sweden.
The BBC will have to wait just a little longer before it can launch BBC3 and BBC4. The British government has said it needs more time to consult over the new digital services.
The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers has announced its third annual Pitch to Public Television for non-fiction filmmakers. The deadline is August 1. For more details, visit: //www.aivf.org/info_services/tips/pbssessions/pbspitch2.html
Bristol’s ARKive has won a US$700,000 grant from the U.K.’s New Opportunities Fund to help build the digital archive.
With the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as their shield, representatives from DirecTV raided locations in three U.S. states, seizing equipment used to pirate the DirecTV signal. The equipment included everything from card programmers to information on hard drives.
Deadlines for entries for The Sichuan TV Festival 2001 are fast approaching. For more information about the International Golden Panda Awards, visit //www.sctvf-programmarket.com.cn The festival and market will take place in Chengdu, China, from October 26th to the 29th.
MTV and RealNetworks are planning to launch the MTV U.K. RealChannel, which will feature free online content to RealPlayer users.
Australian distributor Beyond International plans to launch three online channels under the banner of its internet entity, Beyond Online. The yet unnamed channels will feature science and technology, as well as sports and entertainment.
MTV Europe has topped the 100 million household mark.
A&E Networks have launched The History Channel into Korea thanks to an agreement with the JoonAng Broadcasting Corporation. The channel will run 24-hours and features both Korean and international historical programming.
Vivendi Universal and News Corp. have agreed to a deal which will merge their Italian pay-TV and digital distribution activities, Tele+ and Stream, under a single operator named Tele+.
In Canada, Rogers Broadcasting has put in a US$79 million bid for CTV’s 40% interest in Sportsnet, one of two national sports networks. If accepted, the deal would give Rogers 80% interest in the channel.
A Federal Appeals Court in the U.S. has ruled that public broadcasters shouldn’t be required to compete with commercial ventures for licenses.
Canal+ and Nordic broadband service Telenor have shuffled their relationship, with Telenor acquiring the remaining 50% stake of Canal Digital AS from Canal+ in an agreement valued at US$260 million. The two companies have also signed a long-term exclusive distribution agreement for Canal+’s pay-TV channels and the Kiosk pay-per-view service on the Canal Digital platform.
In Chile, Canal 13 has tightened its belt, reducing its staff of 700 about 10%.
Mexico’s Channel 22 has signed a deal that sees Canal+ Spain provide it with 52 hours of programming annually. The two entities also intend to coproduce docs and art programs.
Fawlty Towers is being re-made for Germany’s RTL, with lead character Basil Fawlty renamed Hagen Krause, Cybil renamed Helga, and Manuel renamed Igor. (It’s isn’t doc news, but it’s interesting.)