news digest


Moviegoing rebound in EU continues

BRUSSELS — Cinema attendance rose 4% last year in the European Union to an estimated 924 million, according to figures released Wednesday by the European Audiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg, France. The surge was led by Germany, which saw a 7.4% rise in audiences to about 136.7 million, and France, with a 7.5% jump to 188.5 million, both showing a clear recovery from a slump in 2005. A number of small territories saw spectacular rises: Admissions were up 98.1% in Lithuania, 40.2% in Estonia, 35.8% in Poland (to 32 million) and 22.7% in Latvia.

Norville re-ups with 'Edition'

Deborah Norville has signed a multiyear deal with CBS Television Distribution to remain as anchor of the syndicated newsmagazine "Inside Edition." Norville joined "Edition" in 1995 after more than a decade in the television news industry. She most recently had re-upped her contract in January 2005, when she signed a two-year deal. "Edition" averaged a 4.1 household rating during the week ending Feb. 11, marking its best performance in just more than three years thanks to a boost from coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death. That was up 11% from the previous week and up 8% from the same week a year ago. Season-to-date, the No. 2-ranked syndicated newsmagazine is averaging a 3.5.

CBS-YouTube content deal gets deleted

NEW YORK — A proposed multiyear deal between CBS Corp. and Google-owned YouTube that would have let users watch clips from CBS shows on the video sharing site has fallen apart, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday. The companies could not agree on the length of the deal, among other issues, the paper said. The agreement would have guaranteed ad revenue of more than $500 million for CBS, said the report, and the companies also discussed ways to sell CBS Radio spots to Google's clients. The paper said the talks could be revived at a later date.

IFC admits 13 films into iTunes Store

IFC Entertainment on Wednesday made its independent theatrical catalog available on the iTunes Store. Available for purchase and download are 13 films, including "American Gun," starring Forest Whitaker; "Land of Plenty," starring Michelle Williams; and "Sorry, Haters," starring Robin Wright Penn.

Viacom board taps McGarvie for audit spot

Viacom Inc. has elected Blythe McGarvie as an independent member of its board and audit committee, effective April 12, the company said Wednesday. She will replace Ellen Futter, who has told the board that she will leave her director post. McGarvie is president and founder of Leadership for International Finance, a private consulting firm focusing on leadership issues, consumer markets and worldwide economic trends.

Verizon pacts for content from Revver

Verizon and Revver announced a deal Wednesday that will put user-generated content on the phone giant's new FiOS TV service and Surround broadband entertainment portal this year. The content is the first Verizon is adding to FiOS TV that makes good on the service's IPTV capabilities, allowing subscribers to access a selection of programming from the site as opposed to the traditional TV channel format. The deal, which builds on an earlier deal Revver struck to put its content on Verizon Wireless, also will allow users who create content to reap more revenue from advertising that will be embedded in content on Verizon's platforms.
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