Chinese docu channel triples budget

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Pubcaster France Televisions has inked with Chinese documentary channel CCTV9 to fast-track co-productions and acquisitions between the nets.

The pact was announced by France Televisions’ topper Remy Pflimlin and CCTV VP Luo Ming on Tuesday at MipTV.

Pflimlin and Luo said they will collaborate on a large number of docus, animated series and movies but declined to disclose further details on the deal.

France Televisions invested €90 million ($119.8 million) in docs in 2010, Pflimlin said.

This is the latest in a series of deals announced by CCTV9 at the mart, underscoring its “wish to open up to co-operation with worldwide partners to strengthen the quality of programming and give them an international dimension,” said CCTV9 managing director Liu Wen.

The first project jointly developed by the two nets is “Sur la route des vins,” a series about wine. “China and France share many affinities, particularly our love of wine,” quipped Luo.

Since its launch in January 2011, CCTV9 has acquired more than 1,000 hours of imported docs, according to Liu.

“Our acquisition budget for 2012 is $2.6 million — that’s three times as much as we spent in 2011,” Liu told Variety. “This year, we’re bringing five documentary series onto the market and in 2013 we aim to bring 10.”

Liu said CCTV9 was particularly interested in docs dealing with China as well as nature, sciences and cultural themes.

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