Marathon, TF1 sign 3-year co-prod'n deal

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PARIS -- Gallic production and distribution company Marathon has signed an unprecedented three-year co-production deal with French media group TF1, the companies announced Friday.

Marathon and TF1 will co-produce online, mobile and VoD new media content for three of Marathon's animated series including popular programs "Totally Spies," "Monster Buster Club" and a third unannounced series.

The deal gives exclusive Internet and mobile rights for the two existing series to TF1's Internet subsidiary eTF1, who will help to finance Marathon's €1.3 million ($1.84 million) investment per year through 2010 on such multi-platform content.

"For the first time in France, the same philosophy that's traditionally been applied to television co-productions is being applied to new medias, enabling TF1 and Marathon to finance major multimedia content in a way that has never been seen before," general manager of Marathon Media David Michel said.

"Monster Buster Club" (52 episodes) will soon air on TF1, the network has already co-produced five series of "Totally Spies" (130 episodes) and the third series is currently in development.

"With this financing in place, Internet and mobile content creation will no longer be seen as light, promotional online activities, but truly as a major brand extension in its own right, based on heavy, innovative content, and backed-up by solid financing," Marathon's director of new medias David Doro said.
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