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NY TV fest nets sponsors

Event will screen pilots, host panels

A&E Networks and Rainbow Media are the first official network sponsors of the inaugural New York Television Festival, running Sept. 28-Oct. 3. TV Guide is an “in association with” sponsor. Other nets are negotiating to sign on.

Fest, founded by indie producer Terence Gray, will screen half-hour and hourlong pilots and offer panel discussions and other special events. Main competition will feature pilots produced independently, while an out-of-competition section will be open to pilots produced by major studios or networks.

Screenings will take place at gallery spaces in the Milk Studios building in Chelsea, with special events at the Meatpacking District club Soho House.

A&E Networks includes A&E, the History Channel and the Biography Channel, while Rainbow is a division of Cablevision and includes IFC, AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment. Both are based in New York.

Fest’s board members include NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly; Comedy Central prexy Doug Herzog; Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting; and Daily Variety publisher Charlie Koones.

Pilot submission deadline is Aug. 1.

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