the world digest


A 'Lot' to like

TORONTO — Canadian broadcaster CTV on Monday said it has acquired Canadian TV rights to "On the Lot," the upcoming filmmaker-themed reality series from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg for Fox. As part of its deal with Mark Burnett Prods., CTV said "On the Lot" producers agreed to visit Toronto in March to audition Canadian filmmakers who might compete on the series to win a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. CTV rival CanWest Global has drawn ratings paydirt previously with Burnett's "Survivor," "The Apprentice" and "Rock Star: Supernova" franchises.

Charges trimmed

ROME — Judge Edoardo D'Avossa, the jurist that media kingpin Silvio Berlusconi's team is working to have thrown off the trial, has dismissed some of the key charges against the former Italian premier. D'Avossa on Monday dismissed charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and false accounting in regard to Mediaset's acquisition of U.S. film rights, saying the charges were too old to be considered.

Ads diverted

LONDON — Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan has warned that ad revenues are permanently shifting from television to online, after the broadcaster suffered a big slump in net profits for 2006. Announcing a preliminary trading update, Channel 4 said that "static revenues and increased costs" resulted in net profits of £20 million ($39.3 million) in 2006, compared with £48.5 million the previous year. The core network saw advertising revenues down 7% at £651 million ($1.3 billion) and Duncan said that advertising revenue is forecast to fall even further this year.