World Briefs

AUSTRALIA

Multicultural, multilingual pubcaster SBS has won the Banff Film and TV Festival’s Global Outstanding Achievement Award.

SBS is the first Oz web to win the prestigious prize in the 21-year history of the fest, which has previously honored France’s Canal Plus, Britain’s Channel 4, WGBH Boston and the Children’s TV Workshop. Award will be presented June 14 at the fest, which will feature a special focus on Australasia.

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Judith Crombie has been named chief executive of the South Australian Film Corp., one of Oz’s most significant locations players.

Crombie, topper of Oz film location marketing service AusFilm Intl., replaces Judith McCann, who had secured the productions of Scott Hicks’ “Shine” and Bill Bennett’s “Kiss or Kill” for lensing in the state. McCann returned to Canada for personal reasons.

ITALY

A Rome court rejected a suit by Vittorio Cecchi Gori against Rupert Murdoch and Telecom Italia, declaring that their bid for a $275 million capital increase in Italy’s second digital TV platform Stream was perfectly legal.

Decision will likely lead to an increase in the stakes held by Murdoch and Telecom Italia in Stream (each has 35%) and a reduction in the shares controlled by Cecchi Gori (who has an 18% hold).

Cecchi Gori had previously approved a capital increase of $166 million but took legal action against Murdoch and Telecom when they upped the increase to $275 million. Cash-strapped Cecchi Gori claimed that this decision was designed to exclude him from the partnership.

UNITED KINGDOM

Scottish Radio Holdings has launched a £116 million ($176 million) takeover bid for Border TV, one of the smallest regional stations in the ITV network.

Border, which straddles southern Scotland and the far northwest of England, is one of the last remaining ITV stations that is not already part of a larger group.

LATIN AMERICA

Cisneros Television Group (CTG) has upped director of sales John Mafoutsis to VP of ad sales. In that post he will be responsible for multimedia sales as the head of newly formed division Ad Lab.

Ad Lab will handle ad sales strategies for CTG’s 12 channels in Latin America, which include MuchMusic, PlayboyTV Latam and HTV.

In addition, Ad Lab will offer cable and Internet combination deals for Latam Web portal El Sitio (in which CTG owns shares), Artistdirect (with which it is developing a music portal) and the sites for the channels.

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