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ROME – Discovery Networks announced Monday it had come to terms with Electus Studios, run by former NBC president Ben Silverman, in a deal that will bring series including American Digger and Fashion Star to Italy over a two-year period that kicks off in October.
The agreement will give Discovery’s Italian subsidiary the right of first refusal to the entire non-scripted catalogue from Electus International, Electus Studios’ global distribution unit.
Discovery operates seven channels in Italy, including two free-to-air channels called Real Time and DMAX, the same two channels and four others on the platform operated by News Corp’s Sky-Italia, and Discovery World on Mediaset’s Premium, the for-pay platform owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset television and cinema giant.
American Digger and Fashion Star will be the first two programs to air as a result of the deal. American Digger will premiere on DMAX, while Fashion Star, which features model Elle Macpherson, will be carrier by Real Time.
In a statement, Discovery Networks Italy’s vice-president of programming and content, Laura Carafoli, said the deal “gives us priority access to stand-out entertainment shows of high production value we know will become long-running franchises for our portfolio.”
John Pollak, president of Electus International, said the company is “incredibly proud to partner with Discovery Italy.”
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