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World Briefs

LATIN AMERICA

Country Music Television Intl. plans to open a Latin America office in Miami later this month, following the recent end of a distribution accord with CBS Cable.

CMT Intl., which in contrast to CBS-owned domestic CMT continues to be a property of Gaylord Entertainment, has named Maria Gomez to run the office.

As director of affiliate sales, Gomez will oversee channel licensing and marketing in the Latino region, where CMT launched in 1995.

Gomez segues to CMT from CBS TeleNoticias, a Latino newsnet that was formerly distributed together with CMT.

ITALY

An Oct. 3 launch has been set for the Disney Channel in Italy, the family web’s eighth offshore offshoot, Disney Channel Italia VP and managing director Janet Scardino announced in Milan.

The Italian channel will carry Disney programming as well as locally produced fare and Italian and European acquisitions. It will air 12 hours daily from 6 a.m. through midnight exclusively via national pay TV operator Telepiu’s D+ digital satellite bou-quet.

AUSTRALIA

Rolf de Heer, writer-director of such lauded pics as “The Quiet Room,” “Bad Boy Bubby” and “Dance Me to My Song,” has been appointed to the board of the Australian Film Commission.

Other appointments to the AFC board include producer Helen Leake and actor and founder of the popular Tropicana film fest and writers center John Polson. Melbourne Int’l Film Festival chairman Des Clark was tapped as deputy chairman of the AFC.

Melbourne-based video and computer games developer Beam Intl. has clinched a three-year distribution pact for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia with Aussie major Village Roadshow.

Beam’s titles, which are repped in North America and Europe by GT Interactive and Infogames, have projected sales of A$86 million ($51 million) over the next three years.

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