Irish TV shows go to Beyond

SYDNEY — Australia’s Beyond Distribution has snared worldwide distribution rights to two TV shows from Ireland’s Tyrone Prods. about the Emerald Isle’s biggest-ever stage export, “Riverdance.”

In a just-inked three-year deal to be officially unveiled at Mipcom, Beyond will handle global TV sales (excluding Ireland, Oz and the U.K.) for “Riverdance Live at New York” and “Riverdance A Journey.” If all goes well, Beyond will distribute much of Tyrone’s future output, which includes “Gaelforce,” an Irish music series for PBS, and “Scalpel,” a four-part medical thriller.

“For a long time we insisted on controlling our own distribution, but the ‘Riverdance’ productions were made to promote awareness of the show ahead of its tour dates, so sales have had to be closely managed all the time,” Tyrone managing director Joan Egan told Daily Variety.

Brand recognition

“We are starting with a well-established product for Beyond and I hope they’ll be our partners for a long time,” said Egan, who believes Beyond’s established brand name in the international TV biz will help boost Tyrone’s profile, which has been somewhat eclipsed by the lavish stageshow it spawned in 1994.

The pact comes just a month after Beyond inked a deal with New York-based DLT to absorb DLT’s Aussie subsid Taffner Ramsay into a sitcom-entertainment co-venture called Taffner Beyond, strengthening Beyond’s presence in DLT’s major markets of the U.S. and U.K., where Beyond already has offices.

“We are an international sales company that happens to have started out and is still headquartered in Australia,” Beyond managing director Mikael Borglund said. ” ‘Riverdance’ is a brilliant show and a phenomenon that transcends all national barriers.”

Beyond is said to be poised to unveil U.S. and U.K. catalog acquisition deals that will add 223 hours to its 4,000-hour library. Beyond’s film sales division is also understood to be preparing to enter the Oz theatrical distribution sector, which may include a dispatch deal with Columbia TriStar, but nothing has yet been put to the Beyond board for approval.

Insiders admitted a deal to acquire a slate of foreign films for Beyond’s new banner to release in Oz could be signed in the next week.

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