the world digest
LONDON — BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster's commercial arm responsible for licensing, program sales and its global channels business, posted record pretax profits of £111.1 million ($222.4 million) for the 12 months ending March 31, up from £89 million the previous year. Revenue for the period was £810 million ($1.6 billion), up from £785 million in the year-ago period, with overseas sales accounting for 46% of total revenue. BBC Worldwide increased its investment in program production to £96.3 million ($192.8 million) from £89 million.
COLOGNE, Germany — Simon Gross' "Fata Morgana," the story of a young couple lost in the Moroccan desert, won top honors at the Foderpreis Deutcher Film awards, held Wednesday at the Munich Film Festival. The prize, intended to support up-and-coming German filmmakers, comes with €30,000 ($40,400) in cash. Jan Bonny and Christine Ebelt won the event's screenplay award for their script to "Counterparts," a story of male spousal abuse. Acting honors went to Valerie Koch ("The Calling Game") and Alexander Fehling ("And Along Come Tourists").
BRUSSELS — Warner Bros. will offer video-on-demand movies through Belgian cable operator Belgacom TV on the same day as their official DVD releases, the companies said Thursday. The VOD deal with Belgacom TV is Warners' first in Europe to coincide with the DVD release date. Warner Bros. films will be available on the same day as the official DVD release date beginning in August, starting with "300." This will push the VOD release date to just three months after its theatrical release.