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BERLIN — Senator Entertainment has sold TV rights to a film package to German pubcaster ARD for an undisclosed amount.

Deal comes in the wake of a DVD/video rights sale last week to Universal Pictures Germany.

With more sales expected in coming days, Senator declined to specify what titles were included in the deal with ARD’s sales and acquisitions arm, Degeto Film.

Local analysts said the sale had got Senator off to a positive start in the new year following recent hardship: Last month it was forced to lower its expected operating profit for 2001 by more than 90%.

Senator blamed the drastic drop in expected results on unbeatable B.O competition from “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” the postponed release to 2002 of Nicole Kidman starrer “The Others” and the poor B.O perf of “Tomcats,” the first pic of its output deal with Revolution Studios.

Upcoming Senator releases include “The Others,” “Enigma,” “Charlotte Gray” and “Black Hawk Down.” Among the 29 pics picked up by Universal were “Black Hawk Down” and “America’s Sweethearts.”

Arms bundled

In related news, Senator Entertainment has bundled its film production and acquisition arms into a corporate level division headed by Benjamin Herrmann, former head of Senator Film Produktion and distributor Senator Film Verleih.

Former Kinowelt exec Jurgen Fabritius has been tapped to replace Herrmann at Senator Film Verleih, where he will be managing director in charge of marketing and distribution for pics released in German-lingo territories. He joins co-managing director Bernd Tietze, who will continue to oversee business and legal affairs at the company.

Division closed

Fabritius headed Kinowelt’s Arthaus distribber for three years before the division was shut down last year, amid Kinowelt’s ongoing financial troubles and restructuring measures.

In addition, Ralf Zimmermann, former head of Munich-based Mr. Brown Entertainment, now is head of production at Senator Film Produktion.

Zimmermann produced last year’s comedy hit “Now or Never” as head of Mr. Brown, which is co-owned by Teutonic thesp Til Schweiger and Senator.