NBC will co-distribute TV pics with Hallmark

Peacock segues into new business arena

NBC Enterprises has entered into a co-distribution deal with Hallmark Entertainment, marking the first time the net has gained access to the prolific production company’s distribution business.

Under the agreement, NBC will distribute Hallmark’s original production of Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” to all non-European territories, and Hallmark will handle Europe and the U.S. The two-hour movie is set to air on NBC during the 1998-99 season.

The deal gives NBC the chance to benefit enormously from another potential hit movie from Hallmark, which has been NBC’s leading supplier of event programming with such pics as “Gulliver’s Travels,” “The Odyssey” and “Merlin.”

The deal is “an opportunity to add a new element into our catalogue of entertainment programming,” said Sergio Getzel, VP of international sales and new business development, NBC Enterprises. “From a distribution standpoint, the Hallmark brand is the most recognized overseas.”

NBC Enterprises will also distribute another event film for the 1998-99 season, “The Tempest,” from Bonnie Raskin Prods. in association with NBC Studios. NBC will handle both foreign and domestic distribution of the pic, which promises spectacular visual effects from the Frame Store, which created the f/x for “Merlin.”

NBC will offer both “The Tempest” and “Crime and Punishment” at Mipcom in October.

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