AOL Time Warner says the government of the People’s Republic of China has agreed to broadcast CETV – AOL Time Warner’s Mandarin 24-hour information and entertainment channel – to cable subscribers in southern China. It is the first time a foreign TV organization has been allowed cable carriage in mainland China. In return, AOL Time Warner will carry CCTV-9 – China Central Television’s English-language news and info channel – on some of its cable systems. CETV will start broadcasting in January 2002.
Discovery Networks Latin America/Iberia has partnered with DIRECTV Latin America to bring interactive programming to viewers in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. Beginning this week on the Discovery Channel, viewers who tune in to the program VIDA@LINEA can access interactive info such as ‘Tips’ and ‘Trivia’ using their remote control.
APTNvideo.net, a new Internet platform for the worldwide distribution of news feeds from Associated Press Television News, launched commercially this week. APTN signed a three-year contract with Stockholm, Sweden-based Internet TV company Kamera in September to develop the internet video service.
Australia’s Southern Star Sales has launched its website (//www.southernstargroup.com), which gives buyers online access to the company’s 14,000-hour catalog.
ABC in the U.S. has cancelled planned reality series The Runner, produced by actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It’s the first major casualty in the reality genre since the attacks of September 11 changed the mood of TV viewers and ushered in a news intensive climate.
It’s back to the island for the next Survivor. Even though Survivor: Africa is only in its third week, CBS has already announced plans for a fourth installment of the series, to take place in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. A CBS spokesperson says the premiere date will be sometime after the Winter Olympics, which take place in February.
According to a report in The Guardian, Prince Edward’s U.K. prodco Ardent Productions will go ahead with The A-Z of Royalty and then stop making films about royalty. As noted in RealScreen Plus on October 4, Ardent got into trouble during filming of A-Z, when caught filming at St. Andrew’s University in Fife – Prince William’s school – despite an agreement with all media not to violate the freshman’s privacy during his studies.
Deutsche Bank-owned Tele Columbus could be the next German cable station snapped up by Liberty Media. The Denver, U.S.-based media giant brokered a deal to buy six regional cable franchises in Germany (pending government approval) a few months ago, and is now said to be looking at Tele Columbus. A Liberty Media spokesperson says the company has no comment on the possible purchase at this time.
According to the annual Membership Sales Survey conducted by the American Film Marketing Association, TV sales of U.S. programming declined in all major territories in 2000, except in Japan. Total TV sales for the year came in at just under US$1.22 billion, a drop of six percent.
The Emmy Awards have been rescheduled (for the third time) for Sunday, November 4. The venue has also changed with the ceremony being staged at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, a more intimate setting than was originally planned at the Shrine Auditorium.
The second week of DOCtober, an international film fest presented by the International Documentary Association, is currently underway in Santa Monica, U.S. The program was expanded to two weeks long this year. The event runs until October 30.
The Nortel Networks Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 10 to 21, 2002), is accepting film submissions, fiction and documentary, until November 15. For more info, visit //www.psfilmfest.org