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Stream forms division to fill new channels

Tinari's appointment official

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — As part of a push to beef up Stream’s subscriber count and programming, the recently installed partners behind the startup Italian digital platform are establishing Stream Intl., a division to be headed by Claudio Tinari.

A long-term acquisitions exec for Italy’s Cecchi Gori Group — now a principal partner in Stream — Tinari’s appointment as president of Stream Intl. was made effective Sept. 1. His mandate is to secure feature films and other product for channels to be launched early next year.

“The new division will be responsible for creating relationships with the U.S. majors and with Italian distributors, as well as Italian and international producers,” Tinari told Daily Variety.

Fielding subscription base

Four key Italian soccer squads (Fiorentina, Roma, Lazio and Parma) came aboard as minority Stream partners this year and exclusive championship coverage of their matches is part of the pay-per-view package. As a result of this, subscriptions to the startup have nearly doubled, climbing from 150,000 to almost 300,000 in less than three months.

While Stream carries movie channel Studio Universal, the company is preparing a trio of film networks. These will be run and programmed inhouse to complement externally controlled networks carried on the service. The projected launch date is early 2000.

A premium movie channel will show a general lineup of international product, Cecchi Gori Classics will specialize in mainly Italian films from 1935-65 and another channel will offer the best of both lineups.