Discovery acquires MediaWorks TV
Discovery has inked a deal to acquire MediaWorks TV, the free-to-air television business owned by New Zealand commercial broadcaster MediaWorks.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
The MediaWorks TV acquisition marks Discovery’s most significant free-to-air investment in the New Zealand market to date, and includes entertainment channels Three and Bravo, streaming service ThreeNow, and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub, as well as the further channels Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV.
Discovery currently operates a portfolio of six pay-TV channels in the New Zealand market, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, Living and Discovery Turbo, as well as free-to-air channels HGTV and Choice TV.
As part of the deal, Glen Kyne has been appointed general manager of TV, a role that will continue under Discovery once the transaction closes.
Discovery’s Australia and New Zealand operations will move under Simon Robinson, president of APAC. Following completion of the sale, Kyne will report to Robinson.
Gareth Codd has been appointed acting commercial director for MediaWorks Group in the interim.
Rebecca Kent, GM of Discovery Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, will continue to oversee the New Zealand pay-TV portfolio and free-to-air channels Choice and HGTV, and the Australia operations.
ZDF Enterprises orders, pre-sells WW2 series
ZDF Enterprises has commissioned the WW2 history series Frontlines from UK indie Impossible Factual.
Prior to completion, the series (pictured) has been sold to Viasat World for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS, Foxtel in Australia and iPrima (Czech Republic).
The 8 x 50-minute series, to be distributed globally by ZDF, focuses on eight battlefields on the frontlines of the war: Midway, Anzio, Monte Cassino, Omaha, Hill 112, Bastogne, Iwo Jima and Berlin.
Frontlines includes first person testimony, location demonstrations, analysis and storytelling to bring the frontlines to life.
Hat Trick Int’l sells Dinner Date abroad
Indie distributor Hat Trick International has signed deals for the long-running factual entertainment series Dinner Date in South Africa, Australia, Finland and France.
Produced by Hat Trick Productions, the format is now in its 10th series on ITVBe in the UK.
A second season of the show is currently being produced by Seapoint for ZDF in Germany, with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place. This new season will bring the total number of episodes commissioned in Germany to 60.
The finished program has sold globally to SBS Australia, Roku North America, Discovery Benelux, BBC Lifestyle in Poland and Africa, TVNZ New Zealand and Sky Italia Italy, across all media platforms.
In each episode of Dinner Date, someone is given the chance to find true love over three meals.
A participant will choose three menus from five, put together by five mystery hosts. They then go on the three dates with the “chefs,” who cook them a meal in their own homes. After the dates, all three chefs prepare for a night out at a restaurant, but the participant can only choose one to go with – leaving the other two to have a night in alone with a ready-made meal.