World Briefs

JAPAN

BBC Worldwide has set up an office in Japan, to be headed by Katsuhiko Waza, the former prexy of British Television Inc.

British TV had been the rep for the BBC’s commercial division in the market, and its five staff members will also come to Worldwide’s office, which will be responsible for all of the Beeb’s Japanese business.

CANADA

International sales for Denys Arcand’s “Stardom” have been brisk on the heels of its preem as the closing night film at Cannes.

Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis announced that distribution rights have been sold in many of the world’s territories, including Japan to Rentrack and Germany to Arthaus.

Momentum Pictures, Alliance Atlantis’ joint venture with Kinowelt, will distribute the film in Canada and the U.K.

ARGENTINA

Grupo Clarin, one of Argentina’s leading media players, has launched a Brazilian Web site, Cidade Internet, as part of a regional Web push costing a reported $200 million. Clarin has teamed up for its Brazilian venture with newspaper O Dia, one of the strongest in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The paper will provide essential local content.

INDIA

Media company Nimbus Communications has secured exclusive rights to telecast Euro 2000 soccer championships beginning immediately.

The first rights for Soccer World Cup 2002, Asian Games in 2002 and Euro 2004 have also been acquired by the media company.

Nimbus is a Mumbai-based television production and broadcasting company active in sports broadcasting.

* * *

Technology Media Group (TMG) launched a 24-hour technology channel in India on June 14.

The channel, TMG Enter, is an analog free-to-air channel primarily broadcasting technology news, the latest in dot-com ventures and venture capital funding process.

Currently, the channel is airing four hours of programming in English and one hour in Hindi.

The channel is in partnership with Santa Cruz Operations, Quality Assurance India, Mindtree Consulting, Ma Foi Communications and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

* * *

United Television Group’s (UTV) animation arm UTV Toons has signed a deal with Canada-based Fun Bag, a subsidiary of Universal Studios.

The president of UTV Toons, Ram Mohan, officially announced the $65 million contract on June 14.

According to the deal, UTV Toons will work on nine shows out of which three will be on contract basis and six on co-production basis.

UTV Toons is currently exporting 95% of its animation work. They are producing three half-hour shows per month and are looking for co-production partner for their own series “Me and Metoo.”

AUSTRALIA

Crawfords Australia, the moribund production company owned by former Paramount Intl. topper Bruce Gordon, is springing back to life to produce 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 distribbed by Protocol in Canada, JuniorNet’s Lancit in the U.S. and London’s Eaton Films in the rest of the world.

LATIN AMERICA

Latino sports channel PSN will broadcast approximately 100 hours of live coverage of the Wimbeldon tennis championships beginning June 26.

Its coverage is exclusive for the region up to semi-finals and finals.

PSN said it is the first Latam pay-TV network to broadcast every round of Wimbledon and that it will have one of the largest broadcasting and production teams on site for the duration of the tourney.

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