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UNITED KINGDOM

Sam Chisholm, ex-chief exec of British Sky Broadcasting, has resigned as a non-exec director on the satcaster’s board due to potential conflict of interest.

Chisholm is replaced by Letizia Moratti, chairwoman of News Corp. Europe and ex-chairwoman of Italian pubcaster RAI, effective immediately.

Chisholm’s departure had been in the cards for some time. He is a consultant to the English Premier soccer league to which BSkyB holds the broadcast rights, and as such cannot sit on both sides of the negotiating table. The rights to the league come up for grabs in 2001.

GERMANY

The Kirch Group’s sports rights agency Prisma Sports & Medien has sold Spanish rights to the World Cup 2002 to satcaster Via Digital.

Prisma, which is 55% owned by Kirch, has the task of selling rights in Europe to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups jointly owned by Kirch. Via Digital already co-owns the rights to Europe’s Champion’s soccer league.

German media giant Bertelsmann plans to buy a 10.7% stake this year in the company held by Die Zeit Foundation.

The rest of the company is held by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 68.8%, and the founding Mohn family, 20.5%.

AUSTRALIA

“Bootmen,” a feature based on Dein Perry’s smash hit tuners “Tap Dogs” and “Steel City,” is skedded to commence lensing around Sydney and Newcastle in June.

Helmed by Perry from a script by Steve Worland, pic will feature Oz West End tuner star Adam Garcia and Sophie Lee (“Muriel’s Wedding”), alongside members of the original “Tap Dogs” cast.

Funded by Fox Searchlight and the Film Finance Commission, pic is produced by Hilary Linstead and Antonia Barnard, with Perry exec producing.

INDIA

Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV in India is on the lookout for an Indian partner for its proposed direct-to-home project, ISky B.

The Indian government is unlikely to allow 100% foreign ownership of a DTH license, and this has forced Star to look out for a joint venture partner.

Star is reportedly in discussions with corporate powerhouses for possible partnerships.