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World Briefs

UNITED KINGDOM

LONDON — Polygram Filmed Entertainment has picked up a slew of international rights to the British black comedy “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” after previously buying the film for North America and the U.K. PFE now has bought the film for Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Benelux, France, Spain and Switzerland from sales agent Summit Entertainment.

MALAYSIA

Astro, the country’s 185,000-subscriber digital satellite service, is to expand into the Philippines and Taiwan within the year at a cost of $100 million.

Executive director C.Y. Chin said that although Astro (All Asia Television and Radio Co.) was doing very well, it needed to have a subscriber base of at least 600,000 to break even. Its present growth pace is in line with projections.

AUSTRALIA

Tony Award-winning Australian legit producer John Frost has clinched an exclusive five-year deal to stage all Disney tuners in Australia, New Zealand and Asia (excluding Japan), most notably “The Lion King,” which is expected to bow in Sydney in 2000.

Frost won over a rival consortium comprising the Really Useful Co. and Kerry Packer-backed Dainty Consolidated Entertainment.

Frost’s deal with Disney also means he inherits the remaining regional rights for “Beauty and the Beast” from rival producer Kevin Jacobsen. Frost refused to detail the terms Disney offered this time around.

BRAZIL

Globo’s pay TV programmer Globosat renewed its agreement with the top Brazilian soccer teams for the transmission of the country’s main league.

Globosat will pay $54 million for the exclusive league rights for the coming four seasons.

The matches will be shown by Globosat’s sports channel Sportv and pay per view channel Premiere, which are part of the packages of Globo’s cable operators NET and Multicanal and satellite service Sky.

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