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PBS, CPB AND CARLTON INTERNATIONAL ESTABLISH
NEW $20 MILLION PRODUCTION FUND
Fund Will Help Develop Quality Drama and Documentary Programming
LONDON - June 29, 2001 -- The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are joining forces with Carlton International Media to establish a new programming production fund that will add $20 million to the PBS National Program Schedule over the next three years. The fund will finance the development of a range of original, high quality drama and documentary programs, including some programs that will air as part of PBS's ongoing American drama initiative. The announcement was made today by Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of PBS; Robert Coonrod, president and CEO of CPB; and Rupert Dilnott Cooper, CEO of Carlton International Media.
Carlton, which plans a significant number of productions through the fund, is in development on two non-fiction projects. FIND YOUR FAMILY uses genealogy to go back into people's past to find fascinating stories and famous ancestors. DA VINCI'S MACHINES will aim to build some of Leonardo Da Vinci's creations to see how successful they would actually be.
The fund, to be administered jointly by CPB, PBS, and Carlton, will be open to all producers and PBS stations. Carlton will have U.K. and international distribution rights on all programs, with PBS retaining U.S. broadcast and home video rights in perpetuity. As a result of this partnership, PBS and Carlton will create a library of significant value.
Carlton will contribute $10 million to the fund; PBS and CPB will each contribute $5 million. Ms. Mitchell emphasized that there will be budget guidelines and overhead restrictions so that any programming launched out of this fund will be on a sustainable financial model. The partnership is non-exclusive and non-competitive with any existing alliances or business arrangements with other international partners of public television stations, PBS or CPB, she stated.
"We're very pleased with this partnership with Carlton and CPB, and believe it will further strengthen and bolster our American drama initiative," said Ms. Mitchell. "We hope to be able to announce several titles in the very near future."
"Producers on both sides of the Atlantic will have equal access to the fund, and viewers everywhere should benefit," said Mr. Coonrod. "We hope this can be a model for international public/private partnerships."
Rupert Dilnott Cooper, chief executive of Carlton International Media said: "This is a ground-breaking deal for Carlton and is a key part of our strategy to produce and distribute internationally valuable content. We look forward to this major expansion of what has been a tremendous relationship with the PBS network and its stations over many years."
Steve Hewlett, managing director and director of programmes for Carlton Productions, said: "This is the start of an exciting long-term strategic partnership. It represents a unique opportunity to create a whole slate of high-quality international programming - from one-offs to longer running series."
Carlton and PBS/CPB will co-own all the programs and share all of the fund's costs equally. An editorial board, with representatives from each partner, is being set up to organize the development process.
Carlton has a long-standing relationship with PBS, having provided such programs as Inspector Morse on MYSTERY!, "The Railway Children" and "Oliver Twist" on EXXONMOBIL MASTERPIECE THEATRE.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations.
Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, develops public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry's largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations.
Carlton is one of the UK's leading commercial broadcasters and content producers, investing over £200m a year in new television programs. Its international arm - Carlton International Media - markets and distributes a catalogue of over 18,000 hours of new and existing programming, including the world's largest collection of British-made films, as well as co-producing up to 20 television movies per year through its Carlton America division.
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