the world digest


Lockhart to BBC

LONDON — BBC Worldwide on Monday said it has wooed Endemol U.K. head of production Norman Lockhart to run its format content and production team in a bid to bolster its fast-growing global formats business. As head of production for BBC Worldwide's content and production team, Lockhart will oversee the management of overseas format productions outside the U.S. and will be in charge of setting up global production bases and working with local partners.

Distributor renamed

SEOUL — Universal Pictures International announced Monday that, as of Jan. 1, the Korean branch of United International Pictures will change to Universal Pictures International Korea, a division of NBC Universal. UIP's Korea office will close Dec. 31 as part of the move. UPI's decision to establish a stand-alone presence in Korea follows similar moves made across Europe, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria and Russia. UPI will absorb UIP Korea's distribution business and dedicate itself to distributing films by Universal Pictures as well as acquiring local product.

Vision launched

LONDON — British Telecom on Monday said it will launch its broadband television service BT Vision on Dec. 4 but declined to give pricing details. The former state telecom's long-awaited move into home entertainment combines a Freeview set-top box that provides access to about 30 TV and radio channels, high-speed Internet and a digital video recorder. BT has content deals with about 20 suppliers, spanning studios, producers and program distributors, and is targeting the 25% of British homes that have no digital services as well as homes that want to upgrade.