Chicago -- News of several new international-channel
launches emerged last week at Multichannel News International's "Ground
The event -- which honored individuals and companies for
their contributions to international pay TV -- was held here in conjunction with the
Time Warner Inc. vice chairman Ted Turner said Cable News
Network will launch a dedicated channel in Turkey through a partnership with local
television company Dogan Media Group.
Turner said the venture will involve "little financial
risk" for Time Warner. "We contribute revenue, our global material and
expertise, and we get one-half of the network for doing it," he added.
Turner received MNI's "Gran Prix Ground
Breaker" award for the greatest all-around contribution to the international pay TV
MTV Networks chairman and CEO Tom Freston, who also spoke
at the luncheon, revealed that kids' channel Nick Jr. plans to launch a British
version -- its first international endeavor. Most of the product currently running on Nick
Jr. in the United States will be used in the United Kingdom, Freston said.
The channel isn't likely to migrate to many other
overseas markets, he added, noting that the digital environment developing in the United
Kingdom made it a fertile ground for the channel.
Freston also said MTVN is planning as many as three new
music services in India, having secured space on the new digital direct-to-home platform
planned by Zee TV.
MTV and Nickelodeon received MNI's "Ground
Breaker" award for best global programmer.
Turner and Freston didn't specify when their channels
Other 1999 "Ground Breaker Award" winners
included Canada's Shaw Communications Inc. in the technology category;
UnitedGlobalCom (formerly United International Holdings Inc.) for top systems company; SET
India for best local programmer; Multichannel Advertising Bureau International managing
director Connie Pettit in the advertising category; and Latin American Pay Television
Service president Genaro Rionda for top marketer.