World Briefs

AUSTRALIA

Crawfords Australia, the production company owned by former Paramount Intl. topper Bruce Gordon, will produce the 26-part kidvid “The Saddle Club” with Canadian cable channel YTV and Oz pubcaster ABC-TV.

Based on Bonnie Bryant’s bestselling novels, the series will be distributed by Protocol in Canada, JuniorNet’s Lancit in the U.S. and London’s Eaton Films in the rest of the world.

LATIN AMERICA

HBO Latin America group announced it has extended its distrib deal with Mexican satcaster Sky Mexico for another five years. Sky Mexico will continue to carry premium channels HBO, HBO Plus and Cinemax as well as the HBO Latin America group’s family of basic channels: Sony Entertainment Television, Warner Channel, E! Entertainment Television, Mundo and AXN.

The entire HBO Latin America group premium and basic channel lineup will be available through the new Sky Star package.

INDIA

Zee Telefilms will invest $545 million to lay cable in 26 cities in India by its subsid, cable distribution net Siticable. The cable project has already begun in Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad and other metro areas, and is expected to be completed within two years. The cable will also provide Internet services under subsidiary Zee Interactive Multimedia.

Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV has acquired News TV India, making it into a wholly owned subsidiary of Star. News TV will now add production and marketing of commercials and films on Internet and radio under its new owner.

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