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Southern Star nabs rights to Nine library from MTM

Aussie co wins rights to 1,000 hours of p'gramming

SYDNEY — Major Australian producer-distrib Southern Star on Wednesday beat local and international competitors to win global distribution rights to more than 1,000 hours of TV drama, sitcom and documentary programming from Kerry Packer’s top-rated Nine Network Australia, replacing America’s MTM in the role.

The three-year exclusive pact includes more than 90 hours of kidvid, 100 hours of natural history programming, 170 hours of comedies, 400 hours of drama, plus TV movies and miniseries from Nine’s stable of inhouse production and boosts Southern Star’s catalog to more than 4,000 hours.

“Southern Star has a world-class distribution operation and has achieved enormous results on programs such as ‘Water Rats’ and ‘Murder Call’ (which air on Nine),” said Nine managing director David Leckie. “We are excited about working with them to realize the full overseas sales potential of the network’s stable of locally produced programs.”

Southern Star exec chairman Neil Balnaves told Daily Variety the deal was “an affirmation of our relationship with Nine.”

The pact comes a fortnight after Nine awarded global distribution rights to more than 1,000 hours of completed inhouse lifestyle, infotainment, magazine and reality programs to Southern Star’s main rival, Beyond.

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