EM-Studio100 ink distribution pact

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COLOGNE, Germany -- German rights group EM.Entertainment has signed a wide-ranging distribution agreement with Studio100 Media, the Munich-based subsidiary of Belgian group Studio100 Holding.

The deal, announced Tuesday, will see EM and Studio100 jointly market kids titles from EM's vast catalog. EM's library includes such German kids classics as "Viky the Viking" and "Maya the Bee" as well as newer productions including "Stains Down Drains," "Enyo" and "Dogstar."

The EM-Studio100 agreement replaces EM's deal with U.K.-based Sparrowhawk Distribution, which runs out at the end of March. NBC Universal, which acquired Sparrowhawk parent Sparrowhawk Media for $350 million last year, is restructuring the company and will not be renewing the EM deal.

Studio100 general manager Patrick Elmendorff, a former managing director at EM.Entertainment, will head up the two companies' new joint distribution team. The agreement covers worldwide rights for TV, home entertainment and VOD to all EM titles outside German-speaking Europe, North America and Australia/New Zeeland.

EM parent EM.Sport Media is trying to sell off its kids entertainment division but has had problems finding a buyer. EM chief Werner E. Klatten has blamed the delay on unfavorable conditions in the wake of the worldwide credit crunch but expects the sale to go through in the second half of the year.
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