World News

MPA sails Hudson at Mexico pirates

The Motion Picture Assn. has hired Brendan Hudson as the country manager for its re-established anti-piracy program in Mexico.

Piracy in the Mexican market is a priority for the MPA, the organization said. Mexico was previously handled as part of Latin America.

Hudson will manage legal, investigative and public relations affairs in cooperation with the newly formed Home Video Assn., comprised of representatives of MPA member companies and licensees.

A U.S. attorney, Hudson had been working as a foreign legal consultant. He is a former director for international trade at the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico.

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Hero, Hallmark pact

Hero Prods., a Miami-based TV production and broadcast center, announced a five-year agreement with Hallmark Entertainment Networks for additional satellite capacity, uplink and master control services for its LatAm net as of Aug. 1.

Hero will also provide Hallmark with subtitling and language customization. It values the agreement at $5.3 million.

Hallmark Entertainment Network is a 24-hour channel featuring only Hallmark made-for-TV movies and miniseries. Distributed in Spanish and Portuguese, it has almost 2 million subscribers in Mexico, Central America and the northern tier of South America.

Hero will transfer the network to the Intelsat 806 satellite when it is available for commercial use, scheduled for next year. The move will allow Hero to broadcast to Spain and Portugal as well as Latin America using the same beam.

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Knock at BevHills door

Actor-producer Til Schweiger’s Mr. Brown Entertainment production company is planning to open an office in Beverly Hills. Based in Potsdam near Berlin, Mr. Brown coproduced German-lingo blockbuster “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” together with Buena Vista Intl. Mr. Brown is looking for U.S.-German coproduction opportunities, preferably involving German thesps and crew. Schweiger is currently lensing “Replacement Killers” for Columbia TriStar in the U.S., but will continue to work as an actor and a producer in Germany.

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MTV U.K. starts July 1

MTV Networks Europe has set July 1 as the launch date for its new Britain-specific music channel, “MTV in the UK.” The date is sooner than expected.

The new service addresses competition from the British music channel the Box, and heads off the launch of several planned British music channels. It will be promoted with a major advertising initiative skedded to begin in September.

MTV in the UK will supplant the net’s northern Europe service in Britain and Ireland. The northern service will continue to be broadcast to Scandinavia, France and the Benelux countries. MTVE also has a central Europe and southern Europe service.

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