SYDNEY — Despite upheaval in its exec ranks and rivers of red ink, Aussie cabler Optus Vision is pressing ahead with plans for the July 1 bow of documentary service Odyssey, evidenced by Wednesday’s unveiling of several supply deals, toplined by U.S. cable service Bravo.
While the terms of the deals were not revealed, Odyssey, which is owned by U.S. West-Media One subsid Continental Australia Programming, has clinched pacts with such U.S. players as Bravo (including “Inside the Actors Studio”), L.A.-based Unapix Intl. (including “Sports Safari” and Jeff Goldblum’s “Future Quest”) and New York’s Tapestry (“Childhood” and PBS’ “Nova”).
Deals with U.K. players include Channel Four (“Metropolis: Beneath City Streets”), Primetime (“CIA: Espionage” and Peter Ustinov’s “Paths of the Gods”) and Minotaur (“Equinox” and “Profiles”), while local distribbers Beyond and Jennifer Cornish Media have licensed fare to the service.
The deals come after Odyssey inked what is said to be the first Oz output deal for Knoxville, Tenn.-based cable channel Home and Garden Television (Daily Variety, June 9).
More than 60% of Odyssey’s launch sked will be firstrun in Oz, with 35% of content from the U.S., 40% from the U.K. and about 15% from Oz. It is understood a local docu production fund will be unveiled at the July 1 bow.
Meantime, XYZ Entertainment is understood to be prepping a lifestyle channel to debut in September on Foxtel under the stewardship of former XYZ marketing manager Andrew Hookway.