Prosecutors: Charges Not Imminent In Death Of French ‘Survivor’ Contestant
French prosecutors in the Parisian suburb of Creteil have denied reports that they plan to open a criminal investigation into the March death of reality show contestant Gérald Babin. Babin suffered a heart attack during the first day of shooting on Koh-Lanta, France’s local version of Survivor, and a preliminary manslaughter inquiry was later opened. At the time, anonymous sources called into question the show’s handling of Babin’s collapse. But reports that surfaced in the French media this morning, which said the opening of an official judicial investigation was imminent, are incorrect. “You cannot set a timetable. No decision has been made,” prosecutors told AFP. Babin’s death preceded the April suicide of the show’s physician Dr. Thierry Costa, who left a note saying he was confident he had treated Babin “as a patient and not a contestant” but that he was distraught by “false accusations and assumptions” in the media. Koh-Lanta started airing in 2001 and is one of leading network TF1′s flagship series, drawing an average of 7.4M viewers. The network promptly shelved the 16th season and has yet to make a decision about the series’ long-term future.
‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets Streaming Record In UK
The third season of Game Of Thrones just became available on UK streaming service Blinkbox, resulting in a sales record with a 632% increase in revenue versus the same day last year. Owned by retail giant Tesco, Blinkbox is the only service currently carrying the season. The show airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and holds the top three spots in Blinkbox’s rankings. Much as UKTV did with its giant lake-bound Mr. Darcy in celebration of the launch of its Drama channel, Blinkbox installed a giant dragon skull on a Dorset beach to promote the S3 release of Game Of Thrones.
Venice Again Will Stream Films Screening In Horizons Section
The Venice Film Festival is renewing an online initiative it started last year that allows fans to stream movies that are running in the Horizons section. Known as the Sala Web, the program was conceived as an additional theater to complement and co-exist with the traditional theaters on the Lido. Movie fans from around the world can stream films from the section on the same day they make their world premieres in Venice. Online screenings will be available within 24 hours of the Venice bow, starting at 9 PM local time. The cost per film is €4.20 ($5.51), but you’ll have to be quick. There are only 500 virtual seats available for each film. Users can buy tickets at www.labiennale.org beginning in mid-August. The official lineup will be announced July 25, and the fest runs August 28-September 7.
Investment Group Fimalac Acquires France’s Top Web Portal
French investment group Fimalac has acquired AlloCiné, the top film web portal in France. The deal was rumored last week with a price tag of €70M ($91M). Fimalac said today it is paying €66.9M for 98% of the company. The site, which resembles MovieFone, also operates local versions in such countries as Germany, Spain, the UK, Turkey and Brazil. AlloCiné was founded in 1993 as a phone service for movie showtimes. It became the first European cinema portal in 1997 and was owned for a time by Canal Plus.
BBC, BT Sport Will Share UK TV Rights To FA Cups Matches
The BBC will share rights to broadcast soccer’s FA cup matches with BT Sport in the UK. The deal kicks off beginning with the 2014-15 season and goes through to 2018. ITV previously held the rights, but will continue to show all of England’s home and away matches ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. BBC Director General Tony Hall said, “Bringing the FA Cup back to the BBC was something I really wanted to do and I am so pleased that we have achieved it for football fans everywhere.” BT Sport has entered the sports rights business as a challenger to longtime dominant player Sky.