the world digest


Targeting Tien

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch media was awash with reports Monday that Tien, media tycoon John de Mol's 2-year-old commercial TV channel, is up for sale and will likely be acquired by RTL Nederland. While another channel — SBS Holland — is believed to be a potential buyer, most observers consider RTL the favorite. According to RTL director Fons van Westerloo, a deal between his company and Tien is just a matter of time. "We are currently closing the deal," Van Westerloo said in a statement. But a Tien spokesperson said that negotiations with other TV channels are still ongoing.

Increasing attendance

PARIS — French filmgoers have spring fever, as more than 1.2 million cinephiles headed to movie theaters Sunday, the first day of the country's eighth annual discount cinema fest, the Printemps du Cinema. The event, organized by the FNCF, enjoyed its highest attendance ever, with an 8% increase from last year. For three days, the French public can watch films for a reduced ticket price of just €3.50 ($4.65). Zhang Yimou's "Curse of the Golden Flower" topped the day's boxoffice with 41,366 admissions.

Streaming soccer

COLOGNE, Germany — Sport1, the online sports portal controlled by German media group EM.TV, has inked a wide-ranging rights deal with France's Sportfive to stream several live sporting events, including qualification games for the 2008 European soccer championships. The deal will see Sport1 offer live Internet streaming of several Euro 2008 qualification matches, including those of the French, Portuguese and English national squads.