The N, UKTV up Banff honey pot


TORONTO -- The Banff World Television Festival on Monday said that U.S. cable channel the N and British net UKTV Style have opened their wallets, upping the available prize money for successful producer pitches in Banff to more than CAN$100,000 ($85,500).

Banff organizers said the N will award $10,000 to the best pitch in the youth drama category during the inaugural Pitch It! Program in Banff. Additionally, UKTV Style, part of the UKTV consortium of British TV channels, will give £5,000 ($9,843) in development money to the best lifestyle programming pitch.

Another CAN$10,000 ($8,550) will come from the Comedy Network, Canada's cable comedy channel, for the best comedy programming pitch.

In all, more than CAN$100,000 ($86,114) in development money from a host of new pitching programs will be up for grabs at the 28th installment of the Banff World Television Festival, which will run June 10-13.

Separately, Canadian broadcaster CTV will offer CAN$60,000 ($51,200) in development funding for the top three documentary pitches in the Canadian Documart competition, while phone giant Bell Canada will award another CAN$10,000 ($8,550) development prize as part of the iPitch 2007 competition.

Banff has traditionally held a market simulation to offer conference delegates insight into current trends about international program commissioners, financiers and buyers.

But in recent years, Banff has upped the number of pitch competitions and prize money in a bid to increase the festival's draw internationally.