New Sony unit has eyes overseas

To produce, acquire int'l content for worldwide distribution

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Tuesday will announce the formation of a new business unit, charged with the acquisition of international content.

International Product Expansion Group will be based at the SPHE's Culver City headquarters with the aim of "producing and acquiring properties outside the United States for worldwide distribution," officials said.

International product vp Tony Ishizuka will head the unit with Maxwell Mattord serving as an international product director. The group reports to senior vp international T. Paul Miller.

"The International Product Expansion Group will leverage the studio's global resources and the relationships that our teams outside North America have with local entertainment producers to increase sales and market share for SPHE's operating territories," Ishizuka said.

Said Miller: "The goal is to see each local project recoup its investment in the country in which it was produced or acquired. We can then assess each title's prospects and leverage our global distribution system in other markets."

The group launches with deals to distribute four anime series produced by Madhouse featuring popular Marvel characters. These series will be broadcast in Japan on the Animax TV network and are to be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
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