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Image Expands TV Distribution Globally

25 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to generate a wider audience for its upcoming slate of higher profile films, Image Entertainment Inc. said it formed an international television sales division.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image, which has distributed select product domestically for TV (about 1% of overall revenue), promoted Steve Saltman to the new position SVP, worldwide television.

Saltman, who was SVP, domestic television, will oversee all forms of television distribution, including global sales of Image licensed and distributed content across broadcast TV, cable/satellite, pay-per-view (PPV) and video-on-demand (VOD) channels.

Since acquiring DVD, digital and TV distribution rights to a slate of significant ThinkFilm releases, Image has pulled out the stops (including slating Blu-ray releases) in an effort to showcase itself as a mini-major in home entertainment.

Titles slated to street beginning next month include The Air I Breathe, with Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emily Hirsch and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker; The Secret, starring David Duchovny; and thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, with Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei.

Other movies include Autumn Hearts, with Susan Sarandon, Max von Sydow, Gabriel Byrne and Christopher Plummer; Love and Other Disasters, starring Brittany Murphy; and The Color of Freedom, with Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert and Diane Kruger.

David Borshell, COO of Image, said the TV team will attempt to leverage Image's catalog of more than 3,000 titles for television buyers including documentary Notorious B.I.G. / Bigger Than Life; live music concert Megadeth: That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires; and a selection of large-screen motion pictures, originally created for exhibition in IMAX theaters, including The Alps: Climb of Your Life, Mystery of the Nile, Hurricane on the Bayou and Coral Reef Adventure.

“The expansion of our television department increases our sales reach, provides new revenue streams and brings us one step closer to becoming a full service, worldwide entertainment sales and distribution organization,” Borshell said.

He expects global TV sales to generate from 3% to 5% of total revenues in the next fiscal year.First stop for Saltman is MIPTV, which bills itself as the world's largest audiovisual and digital content market. The event takes place April 7-11 in Cannes, France.

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