Ex-Kirch chief eyes library as buyers circle Beta
CANNES –The ongoing saga of bankrupt German media titan Kirch Media has presented Mipcom with a cliff-hanging finale — former Kirch honcho Jan Mojto has emerged as one of the potential buyers of Kirch’s vast programming library.
The stockpile is the last remaining asset of the now-defunct group, which sold broadcasting group ProSiebenSat 1 to Haim Saban in August.
Mojto, who oversaw international distribution of Kirch Media programming before ankling early last year to launch EOS Entertainment, is keen to get his hands on the company’s programming assets and fold them into his EOS Distribution.
The plan pits Mojto against his former staff at Teutonic sales company Beta, which controls domestic and international rights to the Kirch library. A number of foreign investors are circling Beta, with one firm set to back a management buyout headed by Beta topper Jens Richter.
But it could mean curtains for Beta if Mojto, or another buyer, acquires the programming rights sans the distribber. A decision is expected in coming weeks.
Richter has remained mum about the sale but expressed confidence about Beta’s future: “The main thing is that we are still here.”
Company attracted a packed house with its traditional Beta Brunch screening at the Hotel Majestic on Saturday. offering an impressive lineup of new product that included Russian mafia series “Law of the Lawless” from Avatar Film and mini “Mother Teresa of Calcutta” starring Olivia Hussey.
Richter offered an optimistic assessment of the market, noting that the Asian contingent was back after the SARS outbreak kept them away from MipTV in April.
Mojto, meanwhile, kept busy promoting his current crop of historical miniseries with production partner Nico Hofmann of Berlin-based Teamworx.
Their slate includes “Operation Valkyrie,” about the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler by a group of German military officers; “Dresden,” about the Allied bombing of the German city during World War II, and “Hindenburg,” about the fatal flight of the Zeppelin airship in 1937.
The five-day Mipcom wraps Tuesday.