World Briefs

CANADA

Rogers Communications has agreed to sell its telecommunication services division, Rogers Telecom Inc. (formerly known as Rogers Network Services) to Metronet Communications Corp. in a transaction worth $690 million in cash and Metronet shares.

Rogers prexy and CEO Ted Rogers said his company will use the cash component of the deal to reduce Rogers’ heavy debt load.

AUSTRALIA

Screen Network Australia, a gateway Internet site as a directory for information about the Australian film and TV industry, has launched. The database includes industry news, a calendar of Australian screen events, and memorable film and TV scenes. The Web site was developed and is managed by the Australian Film Commission, the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, the National Film and Sound Archive, and pubcaster Australian Broadcasting Corp. It’s at http://www.sna.net.au

Film Australia, the government’s film and docu production arm which escaped being dismembered late last year after a review, has confirmed Sharon Connolly as managing director and chief executive.

Connolly, who had been acting in that position, previously was an executive producer at Film Australia. The government has pledged to fund Film Australia’s National Interest Program of docus through 2003.

Sydney-based international docu distributor Jennifer Cornish Media has launched a production arm to turn out docus geared to international TV markets. David Noakes, formerly an investment manager with the Australian Film Finance Corp., has been named general manager of Jennifer Cornish Prods. JCP’s first project is “Ocean Planet,” a three-part series featuring underwater experts Ron and Valerie Taylor.

SLOVAKIA

Hungarian Broadcast Corp.’s wholly-owned subsidiary Global Television Networks has acquired 44% of MAC TV, a terrestrial television broadcaster in the Slovak Republic.

HBCO, a satellite-to-cable television broadcaster and media services company with two stations, MSAT and SZIV, currently reaches roughly 39% of the television households in Hungary. MAC TV is HBCO’s third television station acquisition in Central and Eastern Europe since new management began in January.

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