A roundup of news from the first day of MIPTV, including Fremantle’s Cecile Frot-Coutaz’s thoughts on how Europe’s recession is impacting TV.

Swedish VoD start-up plots UK launch

Swedish web-based pay TV service Magine, backed by digital evangelist Jon Gisby [pictured], has scheduled a UK launch early next year.

The IPTV service recently debuted in Sweden and offers subscribers access to stream thousands of programmes live. It also includes a catch-up facility offering access to content owners’ archives.

Full story here.


Fremantle CEO: Western TV remains in recession

Western TV markets, with the exception of Germany, are still in the grip of recession, according to FremantleMedia boss Cecile Frot-Coutaz.

“It’s really, really tough at the moment,” said Frot-Coutaz speaking today at the Mip FremantleMedia breakfast.  

The superindie’s chief executive officer continued: “Everywhere apart from Germany is tough. Spain thinks it’s bottomed out and next year there’ll be a bit of an uplift in Italy.

“In the US it’s tough for broadcast networks. When daylight saving was introduced two or three weeks ago viewing levels fell by 10% across cable and broadcast.

“Nobody knows why, it always goes down a little bit, maybe a few points.”

Full story here.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell co-pro partners secured

An international co-production team for BBC1 drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has been finalised as the series prepares to enter pre-production.

Endemol Worldwide Distribution, BBC America, Canada-based Bell Media’s Space and Screen Yorkshire have become co-production partners in the seven part drama based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke.

Peter Harness is writing the TV adaptation of the fantasy drama which follows the return of magic to England during the Napoleonic Wars.

Cuba Pictures is co-producing the drama with Feel Films and Cite Amerique in a deal brokered by financing experts Far Moor Media.

Full story here.


Sky Atlantic & Starz partner for Fortitude

Sky Atlantic has forged a co-production deal with US network Starz as it greenlights Fortitude, a thriller from Tiger Aspect.

The 13 part drama marks the first co-production deal between Sky Atlantic and US cable network Starz. 

Full story here.


Tax breaks spur UK push for Fox 21

Fox 21 president Bert Salke is promising to bring US productions to the UK in order to tap into the incoming tax break for high-end drama.

Speaking at MipTV about the birth of Showtime hit Homeland, the studio boss said that he intended to take advantage of “new havens that are opening up.”

He told Broadcast: “I promise you that if there are the business advantages we’re hoping for in London, I can almost guarantee you we’ll try and base a production in London.”

Full story here.


Other notable deals

  • Entertainment One has sold Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, from the creators of Peppa Pig, to CLAN in Spain and RAI in Italy and RTE in Ireland.
  • UK broadcaster Channel 5 has picked up US mini-series The Bible, created by Emmy Award winning producer Mark Burnett.
  • Food Network UK has acquired the exclusive rights to Recipes that Rock, a foodie travelogue fronted by Blur bassist Alex James.