Sex may indeed sell, but Logo -- the new Viacom-owned basic cable channel geared toward gay audiences -- is hoping to sell the net with its lack of sexuality. Unlike the other gay networks before it, Logo (which experienced a four month delay in debuting and will launch on Thursday, June 30th) will focus more on gay culture and less on sexuality. [The New York Times]
The New York Times
After achieving success in the U.S., the U.K.'s own version of Project Runway is set to launch in February 2006. The reality series, Project Catwalk, -- which follows fashion design hopefuls as they compete to become the next big name in couture -- will be hosted by British model/actress Elizabeth Hurley. [Indian Television]
Tony Blair is about to get a bit more hip. The British Prime Minister will appear across MTV's international channels on July 1 for a forum entitled All Eyes On Tony Blair. The show, which is part of Blair's effort to connect better with the younger generation, will serve as a precursor to the G8 Summit, which will deal with the challenges of Africa, and kicks off on July 6 in Scotland. [Indian Television]
In a strange twist of irony, it seems as though an over-saturation of the media is actually hurting TV ratings. The surge of coverage of sensational breaking stories may be dulling the appetite for TV movies based on real event. In fact, when CBS's movie about the Scott Peterson murder trial, Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution , aired at the end of May, it attracted far fewer viewers than the net expected. [The New York Times]
The New York Times
Canadian TV and film executives can breathe a sigh of relief. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2005-2009 Global Media Outlook Report, rather than kill it, new media (such as video games and the Internet) will actually help Canada's media and entertainment industry grow. Traditional media are expected to grow alongside its more modern counterparts.
ITV shareholders are celebrating ... for now, at least. As U.K. audiences continue to shift to multi-channel television and the country moves to digital broadcasting, terrestrial broadcaster ITV may be in for some serious trouble in the future. But for now, there's good news. The company got a large windfall from a media regulator that slashed its license fee by nearly two-thirds, to about 80 million pounds. As a result, its share price rose five percent. [Reuters]
Think your TiVo leaves you safe from annoying commercials? Think again. In lieu of TV advertising, more companies are choosing to promote their goods in movie theaters. Last year, ads in U.S. movie theaters grew 23 percent to $438 million, according to the Cinema Advertising Council. [The New York Times]
The New York Times
Seems as though Britain's biggest phone company has joined the IP party. British Telephone (BT) is set to add TV-over-broadband services to its product portfolio, with consumer trials scheduled for the beginning of next year in the UK. The new BT service will be based on Microsoft's TV Internet Protocol Television Edition software platform in its first trials, leading to commercial services being launched in the summer of 2006. [Bios Magazine]
Seems there's never a shortage of legal problems when it comes to the now-defunct Cinar Corporation. According to recent reports, a litigation committee established to recover C$60 million in the company's offshore investments has spent $5 million with nothing much to show for it. The bulk of the litigation is related to allegations that $122 million of Cinar money was invested in the Bahamas without the board's approval. [The Globe and Mail]
The Globe and Mail
It appears as though Bollywood isn't quite so popular with everyone. India's health minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, is fed up with the movie industry and its supposed cohorts, the tobacco companies, which Ramadoss suspects of paying actors to smoke. Ramadoss vowed to implement stricter policies in line with the Cinematographers Act of 1952, which prohibits the glamorization of smoking in movies. [The Economic Times India]
The Economic Times India
Off-screen romances and actor antics have always been a sure-fire way to guarantee box office success, but this summer, publicists are worrying that their stars larger-than-life personas (read: Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise; Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt) are actually overshadowing their films. [The New York Times]
The New York Times
PRESS RELEASE CLIPS
CHUM's creative teams brought home the gold (not to mention he silver and bronze) at the PROMAX&BDA Awards Ceremony in New York City. CHUM-owned stations won more awards than any other international broadcaster -- 25 Gold, 10 Silver and 2 Bronze.
As DISCOP '05 drew to a close last week, final attendance numbers for the Central and Eastern European TV market were up 27 percent from the previous year. In other DISCOP news, next year's market will include an East Silver pavilion dedicated to the promotion and sales of Central and Eastern European film documentaries. East Silver is Central and Eastern Europe's foremost film documentary market.
National Geographic's Kids' Programming & Productions has joined forces with Taipei-based animation studio Wang Film Productions to develop an original action-adventure comedy series geared toward kids aged 6-11.
Three Macedonian college students took the stage at PROMAX&BDA 2005 to accept top prize in UNICEF'S Voices of Youth "Make a Difference" One-Minute Video Contest. The students created a public service announcement entitled "Youth of the World, Youth for the World," which will be made available for broadcast on December 11, 2005 -- the International Children's Day of Broadcasting.
In other PROMAX&BDA news, the organization commissioned a Frank N. Maggid Associates study to explore new and traditional modes of promotion. The findings were revealed at the conference in New York last week. The most interesting included a test of DVR users, which showed that 55 percent of those studied reported stopping on occasion while fast-forwarding to watch an ad that caught their attention.
Walt Disney International has named Rob Jongmans executive vice president and managing director of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.
Walt Disney International
PLEASE NOTE: The VideoAge editorial office will be closed from July 4-July 25th for summer vacation. "Paper Clips" will be on hiatus during that time and will resume on July 27th.
The pre-MIPCOM issue of VideoAge is coming out in September, with a focus on:
* Children's TV at MIPCOM Jr.
* Reality TV
* Cinema in Italy (Venice Film Festival)
* Cinema in Canada (Montreal and Toronto Film Festivals)
* TV in Greece
For more information, please e-mail Dom Serafini at email@example.com.