×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

International TV Newswire: Sky E.U. Deal, ‘Beecham House,’ Mediterraneo, Thousand Films

SKY U.K. E.U. DEAL: A PANDORA’S BOX?

Has outgoing European Competition Commissioner  – and maybe next Commission president – Margrethe Vestager opened a Pandora’s Box?

On Thursday evening, the E.U. competition authorities announced they had accepted commitments from Sky U.K. and Disney, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. regarding their film licensing deals in the U.K. The settlement affects a decades-long backbone of the studio business around the world: Territory-by-territory exclusive sales. Sky U.K. and its studio partners, while not marketing the offer in other territories,  promise not to bar E.U. consumers outside the U.K. who want to subscribe to its U.K. film services. So a Brit ex-pat in Madrid can now watch Sky U.K. movies without setting up a U.K. account.

But that may not be the rights Armageddon some people imagine. “What the Hollywood studios will want to avoid is an agreement in one European country which effectively becomes a pan-European deal. They will still want to negotiate their rights on a territory-by-territory basis,” said Tim Westcott, at IHS Markit.

The E.U’s objective to allow people in one country to subscribe to a service in another country effectively legitimizes a semi-grey market which already exists, he went on. Also, “people outside the U.K. and Ireland being able to subscribe to Sky U.K. is going to be a fairly niche market.”

What Europe and Hollywood’s industries may worry about most is, however, how the E.U., while recognizing that the ban on geo-blocking does not apply to film and TV, are chipping away at territoriality. The Digital Single Market drive is far from over.

CREDIT: Manlin Sterner/CANNESERIES

GURINDER CHADHA’S ‘BEECHAM HOUSE’ CANNESERIES, MIPTV BOUND

Produced by Fremantle and Bend It TV and backed by ITV, “Beecham House,” the first fiction series from Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham,” “Bride and Prejudice”) will receive a MipTV World Premiere TV Screening on April 7 while also forming part of Canneseries lineup. Written and directed by Chadha, “Beecham House” turns on the the residents of an imposing mansion in Delhi on the cusp of the 19th century which is purchased by the enigmatic ex-soldier John Beecham. It represents the second title confirmed for Canneseries after the Studiocanal-sold Canal Plus original “Vernon Subutex” which opens Canneseries out of competition on April 5. Canneseries’ full competition lineup and entire selection will be unveiled at a Paris press conference on March 13.

CREDIT: Mediaset España

MEDIASET ESPAÑA LAUNCHES A NEW CONTENT HUB

How long can broadcasters depend on near pure-play advertising? Cutting his corporate teeth at Italy’s Mediaset, after a first career as a composer, Paolo Vasile, CEO of Mediaset España, may have set something of a record, announcing on Feb. 27 decade-best full-year net profits of €200.3 million  ($228.3 million), largely off Spain’s TV ad market.

But the party can’t last for ever. And Vasile also has a passion for production. On March 7, he announced the appointment of Ghislain Barrois, one of the best-connected and liked of international TV executives in Spain, to head up new sales-production house Mediterraneo. Mediaset España already posts €8 million ($9.1 million) a year in program and movie sales. As the demand for content rises exponentially in Spanish-language markets, the biggest accessible language market in the world, ME could hope in the short to medium run to increase content sales significantly. The numbers may not seem like much for a broadcast network which posts $1.1 billion in annual income. But it is incremental revenue feeding through directly to Mediaset España’s bottom line: A useful buffer indeed for results as Spain’s TV ad market foreseeably splutters but Mediaset España aims to push stock back to post-recession highs.

SID GENTLE, NFTVS, EDINBURGH TV FESTIVAL SET UP THOUSAND FILMS

Sally Woodward Gentle’s Sid Gentle Films ( “Killing Eve,” “The Durrels”), the National Film & Television School and the Edinburgh TV Festival are backing Thousand Films, a new TV screenwriting initiative aimed at fostering relationships between creative female writing talent and well-established producers. Thousand Films was founded by, and is run by, television business affairs exec Charles Dawson, formerly of Sid Gentle. It will offer any unrepresented female writer over 16 years old in the U.K. or Ireland an opportunity to submit a finished pilot script. Selected projects will be judged at the Edinburgh TV Festival which their writers will be invited to attend.Thousand Films will option some of the shortlisted scripts and mentor their writers. After the end of the program, selected writers will work on their ideas or other projects at Sid Gentle Films.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • THE TITAN GAMES -- "The Titan

    'Titan Games' Renewed for Season 2 at NBC

    NBC has renewed the Dwayne Johnson-hosted competition series “The Titan Games” for a second season. The series features men and women battling opponents in head-to-head physical challenges designed by Johnson. Winners advance to Mt. Olympus, a test of speed, strength, agility and endurance. “When we launched ‘The Titan Games,’ we set out to create an [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • first wives club BET

    TV Review: 'The First Wives Club' on BET Plus

    Launching a series based on a beloved property is harder than it seems. On the one hand, you get the immediate boost of name recognition to lure in preexisting fans. On the other, straying too far from the plot and/or spirit of the original risks sparking their righteous wrath. It’s a tricky balance to strike, [...]

  • Thomas Golubic8th Annual Guild of Music

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Christopher Eccleston Anorexia

    Christopher Eccleston Reveals He Was 'Very Ill' With Anorexia While Filming 'Doctor Who'

    “Doctor Who” actor Christopher Eccleston has opened up about his anorexia, body dysmorphia and suicidal thoughts. Eccleston, who played the ninth incarnation of the Doctor, made the revelations in his forthcoming autobiography “I Love the Bones of You: My Father and the Making of Me.” “Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content