Pearson playing Lotto

LONDON – Pearson TV and Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures are considering a joint bid for a British film production franchise funded by the National Lottery.

A three-strong team of Pearson execs, headed by John Hambley, has been assigned to study the merits of making a bid. Hambley previously coordinated Pearson’s successful application for the U.K.’s Channel 5 broadcasting license.

The idea of pitching for a franchise was suggested to Pearson by Phoenix, which already is shooting one film in the U.K. with lottery backing, Beeban Kidron’s “Amy Foster.”

Pearson owns 15% of Phoenix, and the two companies have a deal to co-produce telepics in Europe.

The deadline for lottery franchise bids is Feb. 28. More than 170 companies and individuals, including Pearson, have notified the Arts Council that they are considering an application for one of the four franchises available.

In total, the four franchises will share about $250 million of production financing for British films from the lottery over six years.

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