ESPN Forges Major Pan-African Partnership With Kwesé Sports Network

ROME — ESPN is re-entering the African market through a major alliance with Kwesé, the sports network operated by African telecom and pay-TV operator Econet. The move comes after ESPN announced in July 2013 that it would shut down its television networks in Africa, Middle East and Israel, citing a “strategic business decision” to focus on… Read more »

Series Mania Co-Production Forum Offers Cash Prize (EXCLUSIVE)

Paris-set Series Mania, one of Europe’s biggest TV festivals, is offering a €50,000 ($54,000) Series Mania Project Award, a cash prize for the best project in development at its industry centrepiece Co-Production Forum. The award will be given to the producer of the winning project, chosen from the 2017 selection and pitched on stage at… Read more »

M-Appeal Rolls Out Sales on Fest Fave ‘Blanka,’ World Premieres Polemical ‘Lipstick’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Maren Kroymann’s Berlin-based M-Appeal has rolled out a brace of international sales, with more in the works, on “Blanka,” a Philippine street kid tale shepherded by the Venice Festival’s Biennale College Cinema and directed by Japan’s Kohki Hasei. Hasei’s first fiction feature, after documentary “W/O,” “Blanka” has clinched theatrical distribution deals with Japan’s Transformer, France’s… Read more »

ITV To Cut 120 Jobs As Brexit “Uncertainty” Knocks TV Ad Market

The effects of Brexit uncertainty are starting to rear their ugly heads: ITV is preparing to cut 120 jobs (out of 6,000 total jobs) in a bid to chop £25M ($30.6M) from costs in the next year, a move largely driven by the possible effects Brexit will have on the broadcasting and media buying business.
The announcement came on Monday, three months after ITV’s chief exec Adam Croizer, said the broadcaster would look to make these savings in a post-Brexit climate. ITV said…


Tokyo Festival Opens With Shinzo Abe and Meryl Streep Star Turns

There were Super Mario characters in the streets of Roppongi earlier in the day. But when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe descended on Tokyo’s entertainment district for the opening ceremony of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival he did not repeat his Mario stunt outfit worn for the Olympic Games in Brazil. Instead he wrapped up… Read more »

‘Jack Reacher’ Cuffs $31.5M But ‘Mechanic’ Throws Wrench Into China – Intl Box Office

UPDATE, TUESDAY AM with actuals: Studio actuals show the usual ups and downs across the weekend’s international box office, although Mechanic: Resurrection came in notably higher than local Chinese estimates had it on Sunday. The Jason Statham-starrer holds the distinction of winning the Middle Kingdom frame with $28.2M versus the debut of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back at $5.6M.
Statham, whose history with the Fast & Furious and Expendables franchises serve him well in…


U.K.’s ITV to Ax 120 Jobs as Brexit Fears Mount

British commercial broadcaster ITV is to cut 120 jobs due the expected impact on the economy of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, known as Brexit. “At a time of political and economic uncertainty in our key markets, it’s important that we are in the strongest possible position to continue to invest in… Read more »

Discop Africa Expands Scope Via Strategic Partnership With New Joburg Film Fest

JOHANNESBURG — When the prospector George Walker stubbed his toe on a piece of gold-bearing rock in the South African highveld in 1886, he set off a gold rush on the site of what would one day become Johannesburg. Zulu miners who came to the mile-high settlement from their rural heartland called their new home eGoli,… Read more »