Chinese Studios Seek IPOs
China Film Co. and Shanghai Film Group Co. have both applied to the Chinese regulatory commission seeking listings on the Shanghai stock exchange. There were no financial or timing details disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reports. As the business booms in China, IPOs would allow both companies to raise funds for producing the kinds of big-budget films that Chinese audiences gravitate toward. China Film was behind last year’s local hit Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate and 2010’s Let The Bullets Fly which was that year’s top grossing domestic pic. Shanghai Film’s Aftershock was a hit documentary in 2010. Chinese audiences are big consumers of Hollywood blockbusters but the market share for local pics dropped 4.3% in the first half of this year. SARFT vice-minister Tian Jin recently said increasing the number of foreign films into China has “shaken” the local business and “posed pressure and challenge to the Chinese film industry.”

Viacom Projected To Lead 2012 Pay-TV Revenues In Europe
Revenues from Europe’s leading pay TV channels are expected to hit $5.28B by 2017. A new report by Digital TV Research says the figure will reach $4.24B this year and that Viacom will end 2012 as the top channel group by revenues with an expected $741M. The company is also projected to remain in the lead going forward with just under $1B in revenues in 2017. Viacom has 31 channels across Europe including the Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon franchises. This year, Discovery will hit $570M (21 channels), Disney $549M (14 channels) and Eurosport $575M (5 channels), the report projects. Co-author of the report, Nicholas Moncrieff, says, “Most of the growth will come from a combination of higher penetration in Eastern Europe and the appearance of more HD channels that command higher carriage fees or at least allow channels to protect carriage fees in negotiations with platform operators.” His co-author Simon Murray adds, “Advertising has more room for growth as non-traditional channels gain audience share and greater acceptance among ad agencies. However, the international players face great competition as traditional domestic terrestrial players push their thematic channels.”