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World Briefs


Granada Film has struck a three-year co-production deal with Germany’s Advanced Medien.

Advanced will take distribution rights in German-lingo territories to at least nine Granada pics up to 2002. The first project will be teen comedy “Ghostworld.”

The relationship between the two companies started when Advanced picked up Granada’s “Rogue Trader,” which will be released Dec. 2 in Germany.

British Sky Broadcasting has appointed Mark Sharman as director of broadcasting, a new position at the satcaster.

Sharman will be responsible for the BSkyB-owned channels — the flagship Sky One, Sky News and the movie channels — and will answer to Elisabeth Murdoch, managing director for Sky Networks.

Sharman, 49, rejoins BSkyB after a year’s stint as controller of sport for Channel 4 where he oversaw the terrestrial’s launch of cricket coverage. He had previously been deputy M.D. for production at Sky Sports.


Hallmark Entertainment is planning a 24-hour channel to bow next year in Germany.

The company is already in negotiations with various German players over the launch. The channel will not have an effect on the current agreement between Hallmark and commercial web RTL.


Jessica Knopf has been named director, Spanish & Portuguese language, Latin America and the United States for Disney Publishing Worldwide. Knopf, 35, has been the regional director of publications for Disney Consumer Products Latin America since 1994.

As regional director, Knopf was responsible for the development of Latin American licensing strategies for all publication product categories as well as the creator of Reportero Disney, a newspaper supplement with a circulation of 600,000. Prior to that, Knopf was the publications manager for the Walt Disney Co. Spain, where she created strategies for development of all Disney publications.


The 35th annual InterBEE (broadcasting equipment exhibition) began at Makuhari Messe, east of Tokyo, on Tuesday with 542 manufacturers and organizations from 22 countries displaying their latest gadgets at over 1,600 booths.

The number of participants, more than two-thirds from abroad, showed a 10% increase over last year, reflecting the growing interest in digital broadcasting.

All five of Japan’s commercial networks plan launches of digital satellite operations within the next year.

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