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MTV India flag flap

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Music entertainment channel MTV has agreed to drop the colors of India’s national flag from its on-screen logo.

Famous Players bows Imax spots

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Leading Canadian exhibition company Famous Players, a subsidiary of Viacom, has announced the location of five new Imax and Imax 3-D theaters across Canada.

Leo Penn

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Leo Penn, an Emmy-winning television director and actor, died Saturday of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 77. Father of actor-director Sean, Penn won his Emmy in 1973 for directing a two-hour episode of “Columbo” called “Any Port in a Storm.” Best known for directing more than 400 hours of primetime television, his credits include… Read more »

Benigni’s ‘Life’ to kick off AFI fest

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The U.S. premiere of Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful” (“La Vita e Bella”) kicks off the American Film Institute’s Los Angeles International Film Festival, which runs Oct. 22-31.

On a soccer kick

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Carlton Communications is negotiating to buy Arsenal soccer club for a reported $459 million, hot on the heels of Rupert Murdoch’s agreeing to buy Manchester United soccer club for $1.04 billion (Daily Variety, Sept. 9).

Madonna nabs five MTV awards

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Madonna was the big winner at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, taking home five trophies during ceremonies held Thursday at the Universal Amphitheater.

Bidders keep eye on Polygram pricetag

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The buyer of Polygram Filmed Entertainment will need to inject $400 million into the film studio in 1999, and at least another $120 million in 2000, to maintain PFE’s current business plan, according to people who have looked at the company’s books.

Marquee Group buys U.K. soccer-talent firm

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The Marquee Group, a New York-based sports-marketing firm, has secured a beachhead on English soil, laying out $3.5 million to buy Tony Stephens Associates Ltd., the soccer-talent firm operating out of the U.K.

Young stock collapses

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Young Broadcasting’s stock collapsed 25% Thursday as the 12-station television group, citing “market conditions,” took itself off the buyer’s market.