Sony TV launches prod'n cos in Spain, Italy

Toro Producciones, Toro Produzioni for local markets

LONDON -- Sony Pictures Television is to launch production companies in Spain and Italy headed by Pasquale Romano and Marco Tombolini, continuing its strategy of growing its local production hubs across the continent, it was announced Thursday.

Toro Producciones, based in Madrid, and Toro Produzioni, in Rome, and will focus on the Spanish and Italian markets, respectively.

Former Endemol executive Tombolini -- who produced local version of such hits as "Big Brother," "Deal Or No Deal" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" will be based in Madrid and will head up the Spanish operations as senior vice president and managing director of Toro Producciones. The new business will fold in SPT's existing Spanish scripted and non-scripted operations, headed by Alfredo Ereno.

In Italy, all of SPT's light entertainment formats will be managed through the Toro Produzioni joint venture under Romano, who will also serve as senior vice president and director, creative affairs, Italy and Spain.

Both Toro Producciones and Toro Produzioni will exclusively represent regional rights to SPT's extensive light entertainment TV formats portfolio.

"The addition of Marco and Pasquale to our business demonstrates our commitment to our expanding operation in Spain and to establishing a new presence in Italy," said Kees Abrahams, president, international production, SPT.

"This is an important and exciting development for our business," he added.
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