Foxtel Adds Roadshow to New Unified Movies Service
Roadshow Films, Australia’s largest distributor, has licensed its films to paybox Foxtel’s unified movies service which launches January 1. Roadshow, Disney, Warner Bros and MGM are losing their home on Foxtel on December 31 when their jointly-owned service The Movie Network goes dark. Foxtel refused to renew TMN’s deal as it moves forward with its own service of seven channels after buying the other major movies provider, Showtime, from partners Fox, Paramount, Sony, NBCUniversal and Liberty Media in October. Foxtel said it’s in advanced negotiations with other distributors. A WB deal appears to be imminent. Roadshow’s titles, which include product from Village Roadshow Pictures, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, Relativity and Film Nation, won’t be part of the initial line-up on January 1 but Foxtel noted top-ranked titles will be added quickly. Foxtel has offered exclusive terms to Australia’s four largest indies, eOne Hopscotch, Transmission, Hoyts Studiocanal and Icon. The indies rejected Foxtel’s initial offer and the paybox sweetened the terms, which are believed to entail a 20%-25% drop in the license fees they received from Showtime. Those deals look close to being finalized. -Don Groves
CBS Corp. Centerpiece At Banff Media Fest
The Banff World Media Festival today proudly announced that CBS Corp will be the inaugural Company of Distinction at next year’s fest in the Canadian Rockies city June 9–12, 2013. CBS exec, producers and talent will participate in keynote and media leaders sessions and the Banff’s master classes. Fest organizers see the Company of Distinction program as a way to highlight leadership in screen entertainment.
Aussie Court Clears Way for Nine Restructuring
The Australian Federal Court today rejected a move to oppose the $3.4 billion recapitalization of the Nine Entertainment Company by some of the firm’s original lenders including BNP Paribas SA, which objected to a debt-for-equity swap. The decision means the scheme of arrangement will proceed, giving the senior lenders led by U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital and Apollo Global Management the biggest stakes in the company. Federal Court judge Michael Jacobson said the scheme is the “only opportunity to the company to repay the senior debt” and it would otherwise be “highly likely” to be placed in receivership. Assuming the scheme is approved at meetings January 21, Nine Entertainment will be free to list on the Australian Securities Exchange within 18 months. The original owner, private equity firm CVC Asia Pacific, will see its stake diluted to just over 1% and receive $4.5 million in cash. -Don Groves