World Briefs

MTV Nets Europe bows Franco feed

EUROPE

MTV Networks Europe has launched a new channel specific to France, Switzerland and Belgium — MTVF. The channel will initially consist of MTVE’s European feed with an add-on of French-lingo subtitling. The somewhat less than radical change will later be augmented with programming specific to French speakers.

MTVF will become MTVE’s sixth regional channel, available to 3.3 million households through France’s TPS and CanalSatellite. The satcasters already carried MTV European.

LATIN AMERICA

U.S. Hispanic net Telemundo has signed a development and consulting deal with Laura Viscontti Prods., Venezuela’s largest indie producer, to develop telenovela properties to be produced in the United States and to serve as programming consultant to Telemundo on current and future programming.

The net will also license various programming from the Viscontti catalog. Financial terms were not disclosed

Fox Latam channels have formed a strategic alliance with Stan Lee Media to create original branded Internet and TV content for distribution throughout Latin America. Deal marks Stan Lee Media’s first regional alliance and Fox Latam’s first co-venture to create original content for the Latino markets.

Fox Latam will localize existing Stan Lee Media content for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latino auds and the two companies will jointly create new properties.

Fox Latam will first adapt content already available on the portal http://www.stanlee.net. For all new Internet and TV programming, Fox will be the exclusive agent in Latam, launching sponsorship, publishing, licensing and merchandising platforms and marketing campaigns.

“We are (also) in negotiations with a variety of companies in India, China, Japan and Europe for strategic partnerships,” said Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul.

CZECH REPUBLIC

The Taviani brothers are prepping “Resurrection” for a 12-week shoot in Central Europe. The English-lingo drama, based on Tolstoy’s novel, starts out with a week of location filming in St. Petersburg Aug. 14, then moves to the Czech Republic Aug. 20 and winds up with five weeks in Slovakia. Italian producer Claudio Grassetti’s Film Tre Roma is linked to local service companies Partner Film in Bratislava and Avalon Cinema in the Czech Republic via Slovak producer Peter Hlava

AUSTRALIA

New Australian Broadcasting Corp. managing director Jonathan Shier has appointed four women to key positions at the pubcaster. Gail Jarvis will head TV. Producer of the Seven’s Network’s “Great Outdoors” infotainment program, she was previously the first female producer of the Oz edition of “60 Minutes.” ABC regional radio head Sue Howard has been upped to overall director of radio, while ABC NewsRadio head Lissa McMillan will be her deputy, and Lynley Marshall, a Kiwi e-commerce executive, is the new director of ABC Online.

The appointments have surprised many ABC insiders and are seen as evidence that Shier, a former deputy chief executive of the U.K.’s Thames TV, is intent on a radical overhaul of the pubcaster. Indeed, the tappings come just weeks after respected executives Andy Lloyd James and Hugh McGowan walked the plank, and place serious questions over the futures of incumbent head of TV Ron Saunders and multimedia head Colin Griffiths.

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