the world digest


Mediaset opts for PPV

ROME — Italian broadcast giant Mediaset announced Thursday it will look to offer more programming on a pay-per-view basis as a way of combating the steady erosion of the TV ad market. Such a move would also give Mediaset a hedge against a pending law that would make it illegal for any one company to own more than 45% of the TV ad market, a cap that — if it became law — would force Mediaset to scale back its ad sales.

Rosy b.o. numbers

PARIS — TF1 saw the French boxoffice through rose-colored lenses this week as the Berlin film festival opener, Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose," logged 230,370 admissions at 675 screens on its first day in theaters. The Edith Piaf biopic starring Marion Cotillard will be released by Picturehouse in the U.S. in June. The film was second to Gerard Krawczyk's cult hit "Taxi 4," released by Europacorp, which topped the boxoffice with 450,755 tickets sold at 867 screens.

TSN a racing partner

TORONTO — The Sports Network on Thursday said it has an extended agreement with the U.S. NASCAR circuit for the Canadian cable sports channel to continue as the exclusive broadcaster of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, including the Daytona 500. Toronto-based TSN will air the NASCAR NEXTEL series to 2010, and will continue to co-promote NASCAR Canada, a joint venture between TSN and NASCAR International, through 2015 as part of a separate agreement. This follows TSN last month signing multiyear broadcast agreements to annually air 35 NASCAR Busch Series races and to provide 12 one-hour programs with race coverage and features for the inaugural NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, set to run May-October 2007.