Oscars growing into an int’l affair

Academy Awards go global

NEW YORK — Oscar fever is more global than ever.

The annual Academy Awards show has now been licensed to stations in more than 200 foreign territories — a record number — by the Mouse House’s overseas TV arm, Buena Vista International Television (BVITV).

The Disney division toppers said Friday that licensing agreements for the 78th edition of the show were most recently inked with HTV-7 in Vietnam, TNT Latin America, Canal Plus in France and satcaster Wowow in Japan by the company’s sales teams in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe and Japan, respectively. All of these latest deals involve firsts.

No separate figures were available for these various license fees but the Oscar Night show — which has become a must-have around the world — is reckoned by outsiders to bring in upward of $10 million to Disney coffers each year from all overseas TV deals combined.

For the first time ever, viewers in Vietnam, for example, will be able to tune in Oscar night with the terrestrial station Hochiminh City TV Channel 7 (HTV-7), which paid for the live, complete telecast of the ceremony along with an edited international version of the show. The agreement with HTV was facilitated by a local agent in Vietnam, Kiet Tuong.

Pan-Latin American paybox TNT has renewed a multi-year license of the live telecast and the Countdown to the Oscars hourlong pre-show. This is BVITV’s first pan-Latin American agreement with the broadcaster.

Canal Plus’ deal is a renewal but the Gallic net is for the first time airing the special “An Evening at the Academy Awards: The Arrivals.”

Disney’s top TV distribution exec Laurie Younger, who is based in Burbank, said: “Over the last seven years that we have licensed the show, we have more than doubled its international distribution.”

Disney-owned ABC has telecast the show in the U.S. since 1976.