World Briefs

ITALY

Only a few weeks after Maurizio Carlotti resigned as CEO of Mediaset, its chief financial officer Michele Preda has stepped down.

Preda will become managing director of telephone operator Albacom, a consortium whose members include Mediaset, British Telecom and Italian state energy giant ENI.

Albacom has bid for licenses for next-generation mobile phones and hand-held Internet devices that the government will assign this summer.

INDIA

Former Star TV topper chief Rathikant Basu plans to launch — via his TV company Broadcast Worldwide –four regional language channels by July this year under the brand name TARA (Television Aimed at Regional Audiences). The channels will be in Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi.

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Time Warner-backed Cartoon Network will start merchandising and licensing operations in India over the next couple of months through sister company Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The channel plans to promote characters like Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny and the Flintstones in India. The merchandising activities will include licensing, third-party promotion and sponsorship.

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Former Sony Entertainment TV promotions executive Sumith Dutta has been appointed to the Mumbai-based post of head of Indian marketing operations for BBC World.

LATAM

Sony Entertainment TV has tapped Maika Gonzalez as director of marketing for the Latam channel, reporting to general manager Jesus Torres. She replaces Carmelo Di Fazio.

Before joining the channel, Gonzalez was the director of products and media for Gillette-Venezuela. The channel’s main office is in Caracas.

JAPAN

The number of Japanese cable subs reached 9.4 million, or 20% of total TV households, as of the end of March, thanks to the fast spread of high-speed internet access services by cable operators.

The number of Internet users via cable TV soared almost seven-fold to 216,000. The number of cable operators that offer Internet access services also tripled to 100 from 32 during the same period.

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