Global Showbiz Briefs: Danny Trejo & Mischa Barton Star In Italian Crime Thriller ‘Hope Lost’; Liberty Global Completes Acquisition Of Chile’s Leading Cabler; More

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen Star In AMBI’s ‘Hope Lost’
Danny TrejoMischa Barton 1Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen and Daniel Baldwin are set to star in Hope Lost, a crime thriller from Italy’s AMBI Pictures. … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Liberty Global Buying Dutch Cabler Ziggo; Epic Pictures Selling ‘Louder Than Words’ At EFM; More

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 9:05pm PST

Liberty Global Set To Acquire Dutch Cabler Ziggo
John Malone’s Liberty Global plans to expand its European cable holdings with an agreement to pay $9.4B in cash and stock for DZiggoutch cable operator Ziggo. If regulators approve the deal, then Liberty — which already owns 28.5% of Ziggo — will merge it with UPC, another cable company it owns there. “Our combined operations will reach over 90% of all Dutch households, allowing us to compete more effectively with the other national telecommunications and satellite platforms in the Netherlands, and at the same time generate significant revenue and operating efficiencies,” says Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. Read More »

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Did AMC Networks Take Itself Off The Market By Agreeing To Buy Chellomedia?

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 12:10pm PDT

Today’s agreement to pay $1B for Liberty Global’s international networks company Chellomedia ”dramatically changes the investment thesis” for AMC Networks, BTIG’s Richard Greenfield saysMany believed that the pay TV network company was ripe for a takeover more than two years after Cablevision spun it off. It’s savoring the success of shows including The Walking Dead, Mad Men and the recently wrapped Breaking Bad and a big payoff from the resolution last year of its breach of contract complaint against Dish Network. AMC’s shares are up about 95% since it went public, and +46% over the last 12 months. But Greenfield downgraded AMC to “neutral,” noting that that even though “timing for a sale appeared ideal,” management’s time and attention now “will be shifted to a significant portfolio of global cable network assets.” Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger says the deal means “slower growth, more financial risk, and [AMC] becomes harder to acquire.” But others say that AMC’s long-term prospects look rosier as it expands its global reach.

Related: News Corp Digital Vet Jonathan Miller Joins AMC Networks Board
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AMC Networks To Pay $1B For Liberty Global’s Chellomedia

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 3:20am PDT

AMC Networks significantly expands its footprint with the acquisition of Chellomedia, the international content division of John Malone’s Liberty Global. In May, Liberty put the business up for sale, expecting a deal valued at between $800M and $1B, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. AMC, which has actively been increasing its global presence via international programming business, AMC/Sundance Channel Global, will pay $1.035B for Chellomedia. (Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner Broadcasting and Discovery Communications had previously been mentioned as suitors.) Chellomedia produces and distributes TV channels across such territories as the UK, Benelux, Central Europe, Spain and Latin America and reaches about 390 million households. Included in the deal are Chello-branded channels airing genres ranging from movies to entertainment, sports, children’s, lifestyle and documentary programming. Chellomedia’s stakes in joint ventures with A+E Networks, CBS International and other partners also fall under the acquisition, although Liberty will hold onto its Dutch premium channel business. This deal will provide AMC, home to Mad Men and The Walking Dead, with further outlets for programming from AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. Here’s the official release:

NEW YORK, NY, October 28, 2013 – AMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCX) announced today it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of Chellomedia, the international content division of Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) for €750 million (approximately $1.035 billion USD). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

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Liberty Global’s Virgin Media Could Cut Up To 600 Jobs In UK

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 9:07am PDT

John Malone’s Liberty Global acquired the UK’s Virgin Media in a $23B deal in June. In the past year, Britain’s No. 2 pay-TV operator has added 1,000 extra customer service roles while its rival, 21st … Read More »

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BT & Virgin In Sports Channels Deal Just Ahead Of Premier League Soccer Kick Off

By | Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 9:52am PDT

Britain’s BT has pacted with Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media to offer its nascent BT Sport package on Virgin’s UK pay-TV service. The move comes just in time for the British Premier League soccer season which kicks off this weekend. The wholesale deal more than triples the number of BT Sport viewers, bringing the total to about 3M for the three channels (Virgin’s XL subscribers will get the channels for free and lower tier subscribers will be able to purchase them for £15.) Both BT and Virgin compete with Sky, the UK’s dominant pay player. However, Virgin also offers Sky’s channels meaning that following today’s BT pact, it becomes “the only place sports fans can enjoy every goal, try, penalty and heart-stopping sporting moment,” Virgin said in a statement. Sky, meanwhile, is giving Britain a “free day of football” on Saturday when it makes Sky Sports available to every UK household. As a rule, BT offers BT Sport 1, 2 and ESPN HD for free to its broadband customers.

BT has steadily increased its position in the sports rights arena, outbidding ESPN for 38 live Premier League matches for each of the next three seasons in a £738M deal in 2012. (It has since acquired ESPN’s UK & Ireland TV businesses.) At the same time, Sky is paying £2.3B over three years for 116 live matches. Other players have tried and failed to take on Sky in the sports game, but some media watchers say BT isn’t necessarily eyeing a challenge to its supremacy in that domain. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Vision, Archeos, XII Tribes Partner; Liberty Global Closer To $23.3B Virgin Media Acquisition

By | Monday June 3, 2013 @ 11:46pm PDT

Vision Film, Archeos Ent. Team On XII Tribes Pics

Indie distributor Vision Films and Archeos Entertainment are teaming on a slate of movies to be produced in Canada by XII Tribes Entertainment. The Cannes-sealed deal uses Montreal-based Archeos’ financial … Read More »

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