Quickflix To Expand Into New Zealand
Finally, a spot of positive news for Quickflix. The Australian online DVD rental and subscription streaming service just emerged from a trading halt in its shares after the departure of several board members amid a restructuring entailing job cuts and slashing advertising. Today Quickflix trumpeted a deal with New Zealand’s Freeview to launch its film and TV streaming service via a HD channel with a potential reach of 500,000 Kiwi households in 2013. Owned by free-to-air broadcasters TVNZ, Mediaworks, Maori Television and Radio New Zealand, Freeview is available in 86% of TV homes and competes with the News Corp-controlled pay-TV platform Sky. Quickflix will offer a combination of subscription movies and PPV.- Don Groves.

Trading Halt for Australia’s Ten Network’s Shares
Ten Network Holdings shares were suspended Wednesday local time at the company’s request pending an announcement of a capital raising, which would be the second in six months. The company indicated its shares would resume trading on Friday, following Thursday’s annual general meeting. It didn’t specify the size of the fund raising but local media suggested it would issue new shares priced at 20c to raise $A225 million ($235 million). The closing price on Tuesday was 32.5c. In June Ten raised $200 million at 51c per share. The network’s primetime ratings plummeted this year, stung by the failures of reality shows Everybody Dance Now, Being Lara Bingle, The Shire and I Will Survive. The company also sold its outdoor advertising business Eye Corp to a private equity firm for $115 million. Ten incurred a loss of $12.9 million in fiscal 2012 and recently laid off about 116 workers from its TV news and production unit. –Don Groves.

Electus International Licenses ‘Fashion Star’ Format
Electus International, the global distribution arm of Ben Silverman’s Electus, has licensed the format for the reality fashion competition series Fashion Star. With the deal, Electus International has secured local series commitments in Korea, Vietnam and an option to Endemol in India. Earlier this year, Electus International closed a finished tape deal for Fashion Star to premiere across 20 countries in Asia through DIVA Universal. The Fashion Star format was developed by Silverman, Rick Ringbakk of 5×5 Media and E.J. Johnston and James Deutch of EJD Productions. The show is executive-produced by Silverman, Ringbakk, Johnston, Deutch, Elle Macpherson, Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth of The Magical Elves. Electus International retains all international distribution rights.

Starz Acquires 3 Animated Series From Alphanim
French producer Alphanim has sold three of its animated series to Starz _ The Green Squad, the second season of Gawayn and the comic book-based comedy Toto Trouble. The network already airs several other Alphanim series including Santa’s Apprentice, Hairy Scary, Zombie Hotel, Matt’s Monsters and the first season of Gawayn. Alphanim also inked several other international deals, with ABC Australia acquiring Gawayn season 2, Disney Channel in South Korea buying Mouss & Boubidi, and Megamax picking up all three seasons of Alphanim’s Galactik Football for Czech Republic and Slovakia. MTV also renewed its rights for Santa’s Apprentice in Finland.

Turkish Private Broadcaster Fined Over ‘The Simpsons’ Episode
The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) has fined Turkish private broadcaster CNBC-e 53,000 lira (£18,427) for airing an episode of The Simpsons which the board said “mocked God”. RTUK said the episode also showed one character encouraging another to commit murder in the name of God and encouraged young people to drink alcohol, the Hurriet Daily News reported. The Simpsons, which debuted in 1989, is the longest-running US sitcom.

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