Soccer splash for Sony

Fox offers 'Bouncers,' 'Living'

CANNES — On the eve of the main Mipcom market action, several key U.S. companies unveiled deals that they expect to trumpet throughout the week on the Riviera.

Sony will kick off today with its World Cup movie “The Grand Finale,” which is likely to sell easily in soccer-mad territories. Docu feature was shot at the recent tourney in Germany by director Michael Apted. Pierce Brosnan narrates.

Sony beat out several other contenders for worldwide rights to the pic produced by British-based ECN.

Keith LeGoy, exec VP at Sony Pictures TV Distribution, told Daily Variety he expected to close deals in major territories “by Monday afternoon, given just how crazy for soccer the rest of the world is.”

LeGoy said he thought there also would be deals with a Stateside English-language outlet, such as ESPN, and with one of the two Hispanic broadcasters in the U.S.

There are several other soccer tournament films available at Mipcom, but “The Grand Finale” is the only one with the official sanction of FIFA, which provided behind-the-scenes access.

In other news, Fox World, which supervises production of all Fox-distributed formats for foreign markets, and its sister division, 20th Century Fox TV Distribution, are entering the scripted format biz.

Fox execs will be offering buyers at Mipcom two foreign-originated comedy formats acquired by Fox Television Studios: “Bouncers” (based on the Italian show “Buttafuori”) and “I Can’t Stand Living Here” (based on Spanish show “Aqui no hay quien viva”).

The Fox distribution unit will also be licensing rights to the two English-language telenovelas airing in the U.S. on MyNetworkTV as “Fashion House” (Salir de noche) and “Desire” (Mesa para tres).

To oversee the scripted format biz at Fox World, exec VP Chris Ottinger said former CBS Paramount Intl. exec Michael Keller has joined the unit as a VP. Keller will report to Ottinger.

Also leading into Mipcom, E! Networks has inked a number of licensing deals in the Asia Pacific region, totaling some 830 hours of programming. Deals were inked in China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

In addition, for the first time E! content will be available to buyers on multiple platforms, from traditional television to mobile, broadband and satellite radio.

The E! Everywhere initiative will be unveiled today on the Croisette by E! Networks senior VP Kevin MacLellan.

Key titles involved include “The House of Carters,” “Extreme Hollywood” and ” Dr. 90210.”

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