AMC Networks has rebranded its MGM Channel as AMC. The change means the AMC brand will be distributed for the first time outside North America. AMC will begin launching locally versioned channel feeds on key cable and satellite platforms across Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East later this year. Freshman series Halt And Catch Fire and The Divide will be among the first originals to premiere on the channel internationally in an exclusive first TV window. In addition, the channel will air feature films from the MGM, Paramount and Sony libraries. Last month, AMC rebranded its recently acquired Chellomedia business, which included the MGM Channel, to AMC Networks International.
Indie distributor DRG has acquired Strange Empire, a 13-part drama for Canada’s CBC. Written and created by Laurie Finstad (Durham County), the series follows three independent and different women who are brought together by a series of brutal murders, fighting for survival in the wild frontier that is the boundary between the U.S. and Canada in 1860s. Finstad, Tim Johnson and Jeff Sagansky executive produce the series, which is produced by Janestown Productions in association with Johnson Production Group. DRG is expanding its remit in the scripted business following the recent acquisition of Babylon and Eyewitness. Strange Empire is currently in production in Vancouver. DRG will launch it at Mipcom in October.
IMG and NASCAR have entered a 10-year partnership that will see the agency act as its international media representative, helping to establish a long-term and sustainable global commercial broadcast media distribution strategy. The deal is revving up for a 2015 start. IMG will be responsible for helping the sport increase its footprint, audience base and revenues outside of North America and South America. Motorsports are very popular in key international territories such as Western Europe and Australia, and IMG will further develop NASCAR television rights markets where they’re less widely known including Southeast Asia, China and Eastern Europe. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 175 countries through more than 20 broadcast partners. All current rights expire at the end of the 2014 season. These new international broadcasting rights will coincide with the domestic broadcasting rights partnerships with Fox and NBC which also start in 2015.