Major, multiyear deal breaks MIP TV trend

ROME — While most Italian TV players heading to MIP TV this week are advocating a decrease in acquisitions — especially from the U.S. — in favor of more homegrown and Euro product, leading commercial broadcaster Mediaset has broken the trend by negotiating a major, multiyear deal with NBC Enterprises.

Announced by NBC Enterprises president John Agoglia and Mediaset general manager Giovanni Stabilini, the pact covers Italian broadcasting rights to all TV movies, miniseries and NBC series produced during 1997 and 1998 and distributed by NBC Enterprises.

“We are extremely pleased with this deal,” said Agoglia. “We are also delighted to have such a longrunning and formidable presence on Italian television via such a prestigious company as Mediaset.”

Mediaset, which is controlled by media magnate-turned-politician Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest holding company, has collaborated with NBC in the past on the international TV co-productions “The Fortunate Pilgrim,” “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Odyssey.”

Directed by Andrei Konchalevsky and produced by Robert Halmi Sr., Fred Fuchs, Francis Ford Coppola and Nicholas Meyer, “The Odyssey” will air on NBC next month and on Mediaset flagship web Canale 5 in the fall.

Other broadcast-ready productions included in the deal are the four-hour sci-fi mini “The Asteroid” starring Michael Biehn and Anabella Sciorra, the two-part thriller “Pandora’s Clock,” the Danielle Steel miniseries and telepic franchise and l75 episodes of the new Paris-set comedy series “Hang Time.”

“Mediaset has one of Europe’s richest and most complete television libraries,” said Stabilini. “This agreement with NBC will not only strengthen our library, but also give us access to some of the wonderful, quality shows for which NBC is well-known.”

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