Sep 16, 2011

WNET going into international distribution business

WNET will distribute its own content internationally beginning at next month's MIPCOM program marketplace, according to entertainment news site C21. Previously, overseas distribution was handled by PBSd, a partnership between PBS and WGBH in Boston. "We thought we could do better," said Harvey Seslowsky, managing director of sales and global content distribution for WNET in New York City. "What we're trying to do is find ways to kick up our sources of revenue," and perhaps funnel those funds into new programming or expanded seasons of existing shows, he said. PBS will continue to handle domestic distribution of the station's content, while WNET will take over international sales. Seslowsky's team is still working on clearances to WNET's library but he hopes the station will have "a couple of hundred hours" to sell, such as the doc series American Masters, Nature and Great Performances.

Tom Koch, vice president of PBSd, told Current that PBSd did not handle WNET’s entire portfolio internationally. "The number of their programs represents a very tiny fraction of the PBSd international catalog," Koch said.

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