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Vice versa: MTM Int'l to save TVS.

Moving from Los Angeles to London was the best thing that ever happened to MTM International, according to Greg Phillips, president and former head of CBS International's head of European operations.

"We used to sell our programs through a U.K.-based agency. Since taking over the sales ourselves however, we have managed to double the business we do in Europe," he added. That is because we have a singular view of what we want for the company. That way, we are able to control our destiny."

MTM International was formed about two and a half years ago after TVS Entertainment - the highly profitable independent television (ITV) broadcaster that transmits to South and South-east England - acquired MTM Entertainment for $352 million, and decided to move the sales unit to London.

The large cost of the acquisition seems to have crippled TVS financially. Subsequently, it has lost the franchise to continue as a broadcaster next year. And, according to some industry reports, MTM Entertainment could be sold to cover TVS' debts. "However, the franchise loss won't affect us because we report to MTM Entertainment [instead of TVS]," Phillips explained. "But, we are an autonomous business unit. Our success depends on only what we achieve at MTM International." The company's catalogue contains 1,500 hours of programming and boasts a variety of one-hour dramas and half-hour comedies, such as Evening Shade, Hill Street Blues, Capital News and Graham Kerr. Phillips declined to disclose details about launches being announced at MIP-TV, but he acknowledged that new developments include pilots for half-hour shows which could start production this month. He said new episodes of Evening Shade, The Trials of Rosie O'Neill along with WKRP in Cincinnati is also available.

"MTM International needs to look forward if it is to be prepared for changes and developments in the broadcast industry in five years' time. I am interested in finding other sources of income, such as barter programming and sponsorship deals. We also hope our programs will be transmitted on the new Channel Three," stated Phillips. "I would love to party with Carlton and Meridian." [the two companies awarded franchises lost by Thames Television and TVS]
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Title Annotation:TVS Entertainment
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:360
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