Doc detailing dolphin abuse will be on cabler in summer

Animal Planet has acquired TV rights to hot-button documentary “The Cove.”

Pic, which examines the slaughter of dolphins in Japan through an undercover investigation, earned $850,000 at the box office following its July 31 release and has made the Oscar short list for top doc.

Directed by first-time helmer Louis Psihoyos, “The Cove” will first air on pay cabler Epix, but Animal Planet will have the first exclusive window following that run in the summer. Later in the year, “The Cove” will get a another run on Discovery sister net Planet Green.

Pic won the Audience Award at Sundance last year and was recently named best doc by the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

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