Saban International, Fox Family Worldwide’s distributing branch, has signed a three-year deal with Azul Television, Argentina’s terrestrial channel, to broadcast a half-hour Fox Kids branded block to 8.6 million households daily from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. This latest agreement follows the January launch of a daily one-and-a-half-hour branded block of Fox Kids programming on Colombia’s RCN Television, reaching another 7.5 million terrestrial homes south of the border.
* The Disney Channel is planning the release of five original movies for prime time, starting this spring. The film debut slate includes A Can of Worms on April 10, The Thirteenth Year in May and Smart House in June. No dates have been announced for the remaining two flicks, Johnny Tsunami and Genius.
* ABC has beefed up its movie slate by picking up exclusive TV broadcast rights to Universal blockbusters Babe: Pig in the City, Meet Joe Black and Patch Adams. ABC shelled out roughly US$35 million for the feature film trio. Air dates for the pics had not been set at press time.
* Toronto’s Octapixx Worldwide’s parent company, Bidmax, has struck a deal with Toronto-based Paragon International that will see Octapixx handling all of the international rights for Paragon’s multigenre film library. This will include children’s programming like Beyond Reality, Dog House, Destination X and Under the Umbrella Tree.
* The Children’s Television Workshop and the South African Department of Education have found production partners that will bring a South African version of Sesame Street to South African children in TV, radio, training and community outreach formats. The broadcast component will be handled by Kwasukasukela, comprised of Kurira Films International and Times Media Television, both based in Johannesburg, while the radio portion will be developed and produced by Vuleka Productions.
* Hollywood, California’s Porchlight Entertainment will handlle the international distribution of Atlanta, Georgia-based Little Mammoth Media’s 26 episode TV and video series The BIG