Majors and minors mob Mipcom

Newfangled and old-style programming deals jostle for attention on Croisette

CANNES — Both newfangled and old-style programming deals jostled for attention Monday at the opening bell of the five-day sales bazaar Mipcom on the French Riviera.

All the Hollywood majors are present as exhibitors, though only Disney made a point of blanketing the Croisette with news of its latest deals.

Otherwise it was mostly new players which came to town in hopes of riding the broadband wave that’s sweeping the biz from Scandinavia to Singapore and beyond.

Among these latter is Rainbow Media’s aptly named Voom HD Networks, which took the wraps off a $20 million high-def programming partnership with Southeast Asia producer Mega Media and the Media Development Authority of Singapore.

Idea is to create mostly nonfiction niche programming in the new format which will be jointly owned by the partners and dis-tributed outside the U.S. by the 15-year-old Singapore-based distribber Mega Media. Partners aim for 100 hours over three years and the results will help supply Voom’s channels back in the U.S. as well as the international market.

First project to get off the ground is “Beyond the Edge,” which is a one-hour doc about powerboat racing shot with seven digital cameras.

The deal is a first-of-its-kind for both partners.

“We’re riding the wave of the paradigm shift to broadband and 24/7 high def,” said Voom’s co-general manager Greg Moyer. He and Rainbow senior VP Glenn Oakley said the company hoped to launch fully-fledged channels around the world in the coming year.

Meanwhile, the Mouse House unveiled several deals Monday including an arrangement with Sony’s AXN action channel in Central Europe to format “The Amazing Race.”

The first-ever localized version of the reality hit will be available to viewers across Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hun-gary, Romania and Bulgaria. Teams will compete for a $100,000 prize.

The deal was put together by Disney’s sales manager for Eastern Europe Rory Buckley and AXN’s Central European pro-grammer Marietta Temesvari.

“The Amazing Race” is also going to be localized for Asia for Sony’s AXN channel.

Disney is teaming with Sony Entertainment Television in India on a format deal to bring “Extreme Makeover” to the subcon-tinent.

In addition, Disney execs said sitcom “Home Improvement” will for the first time be reversioned internationally by Russian broadcaster CTC.

That agreement was inked by Disney’s regional senior VP Philippe Maigret and CTC’s prexy-CEO Alexander Rodnyansky.

Maigret also concluded a deal with Italy’s RAI for a number of kids shows for the pubcaster’s new children’s block called Random on RAI 2.

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