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MGM Television’s Unscripted & Alternative and Orion Television have closed a first look deal with Tim Crescenti’s L.A.-based Small World IFT, which grants MGM exclusive first look access at all international formats sourced by the firm. Scot Cru, executive VP of global formats and unscripted content at MGM brokered the deal.

Founded in 2005, Small World IFT has developed one of the industry’s strongest track records for bringing international formats into the U.S. market. Popular series include “Better Late Than Never,” “Silent Library” and Japanese game show “I Survived.”

Under the new deal, Small World will continue to operate independently, only now backed by MGM support and resources. For MGM, the deal serves to bolster an already robust entertainment formats catalog with proven international content.

STREAMING SPORTS

In the largest-ever package deal of European domestic soccer rights award to a streaming platform, DAZN has tripled its haul of Bundesliga – Germany’s top soccer league – rights from 2021-2025 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

All Friday and Sunday games will now be available on the platform, making it the exclusive broadcaster for two of the week’s three domestic league broadcast days. In total, the package includes 106 matches per season.

DAZN has established itself as the main soccer provider in Germany, where it also holds rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Nations League, LaLiga, Serie A, Serie B, Ligue 1, Ligue 2, EFL Championship, FA Cup, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italia, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and MLS.

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Dortmund’s Erling Haaland Credit: Jens Meyer/AP/Shutterstock

CATALOG ACQUISITION

ITV Studios has acquired Swedish distribution company Elk Entertainment’s non-scripted formats catalogue, in a move which strengthens the broadcaster’s non-scripted IP catalog of content from independent producers.

In 2017, ITV Studios acquired Elk Productions, renaming it ITV Studios Sweden. Since then, ITV has held exclusive rights to the company’s entertainment formats in Scandinavia. Under the new deal, exploitation rights of all Elk’s formats will transfer from distribution company Elk Entertainment to ITV Studios.

Overseen by ITV’s Global Creative Network managing director Mike Beale, the deal includes 65 formats to be added to the company’s Global Entertainment arm. Popular titles such as “Invincible,” “Dead Poets” and “Pyramid of Dreams” will join the likes of “The Voice” and “Love Island” in ITV’s portfolio.

STREAMING PREMIERE

HBO Europe has announced that “Patria,” originally meant to release in May, will now launch simultaneously across all territories covered by HBO Europe, HBO Latin America and in the U.S. on Sept 27.

“Patria” was HBO’s first announced Spanish original on the eve of San Sebastian 2017, and the Sept 27 release date falls one day after this year’s festival wraps, hinting at a likely festival premiere in the very city where much of the series’ drama takes place. Last year, “Patria” was one of the most talked about productions at San Sebastian when production details and a first trailer were shared at an HBO-hosted panel.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, “Patria” examines three decades of armed conflict in the Basque country through the stories of two families divided by violence.

In the U.S., the series will be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, HBO Latino and other streaming platform with HBO partnerships.

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Patria Credit: HBO EUROPE

DOCUMENTARY ACCELERATOR

Launched in 2018, Circle – Women Doc Accelerator, a training initiative focused on empowering women directors and producers in the documentary film industry and now in its 3rd edition, is participating at this year’s Marché du Film for the first time.

On Wednesday, four Circle alumni films presented in-progress versions of their films in collaboration with Cannes Docs – Marché du Film, where they have a chance at the Docs-in-Progress Award, a €10,000 purse sponsored by the International Emerging Film Talent Association.

This year, 11 projects were selected for Circle backing from a field of 100 applicants. The selected projects will participate in three modules run by experts from various positions in the documentary filmmaking industry over the next four months.

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Circle 2020 Credit: Aet Laigu / Circle

APPOINTMENT

Montral-based Cineflix Productions has hired veteran TV executive David Casey to fill its newly created position, head of current. Casey will oversee creative for Cineflix Productions’ factual slate as head of the division’s team of executive producers. He will also work directly with network executives, internal production administration, post-production, business and legal teams, while reporting to president and commercial director J.C. Mills.

Casey has filled roles including executive producer, director and showrunner at companies including Wilderness Productions and ITVS. His credits include “Brave the Wild,” “Ocean Warriors,” Animal Planet’s long-running “Ice Cold Gold” and Travel Channel’s “Legend Hunter.”