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April 1

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The Success Of Touch Rolling Out To 120
Countries Worldwide Sponsored By The Global
Multi-National Brands Has Far Reaching
Consequences For The Television & Film Industry

Kiefer Sutherland In Touch - Courtesy Of Aceshowbiz
The recent story in the New York Times and the subsequent success of the roll out (press release 29th March) has far reaching consequences for the television and film industry.

It is not just the fundamental scenario of preventing piracy, which is rampant (and which we all want to quell). The deeper real consequence to independent producers in this scenario is that independent product will find it harder than they do now to secure worldwide distribution. Simply, the major companies control and have affiliations with the main distributors in all countries worldwide. Thus they will not only have a tighter hold and control on the distribution of product, they will also push their own production or afflicted productions out to the consumer first.

Link to The New York Times article below and catch up with the success of the roll out as exhibited by the press release. For once in this magazine's 32-year history, the press release 'TOUCH SEES WORLDWIDE RATINGS SUCCESS' is printed verbatim because there is nothing to add or subtract. The comment above is not intended as a negative. It demonstrates the reality of the speed and power inherent in digital distribution and the Internet, and why the independent community of talented creators needs to actively get on board the revolution.

NYTIMES: Television shows typically have their debuts in the United States first and arrive in other countries later - sometimes months or even years later. But this week, News Corporation is staging a worldwide premiere of Touch, a new drama starring Kiefer Sutherland that celebrates the very kind of interconnectivity that will allow the show to start almost simultaneously in 100 countries and territories. In the United States it will appear on the Fox network on Thursday night; in Canada, on Global Television; in Germany, on ProSieben; in Russia, on Channel One. The worldwide rollout will allow American viewers to react to Touch in almost real time with viewers on other continents and in other languages, presuming, of course, that they are motivated enough to do so.

Executives at News Corporation and its competitors say that Touch signifies a new way of doing business that attracts multinational advertisers (Unilever is a sponsor of the series around the world) and attacks online piracy. To Tim Kring, the show's creator, the shift is stark. In spring 2007, six months after his show Heroes started in the United States, he watched hundreds of Heroes fans line up for an event in Paris, even though the show had yet to be seen on television in France.



Within One Week of Successful Launch on FOX in U.S., Drama Sees Similar Triumph in More Than 100 Countries

For the first time in television history, a U.S. series has immediately established a global audience. Within one week of its highly rated American debut, TOUCH has created a tremendous worldwide buzz.

In country after country, the premiere of TOUCH was one of the highest-rated individual channel telecasts of the season, ranking No. 1 or No. 2 in its time period and outperforming the primetime average of the broadcaster by double- or triple-digit percentage increases.

Last week on Sky 1 in the United Kingdom, TOUCH ranked No. 1 in its time period among all basic cable and satellite channels. On FOX Italia (Italy), the premiere ranked as the channel's second highest-rated premiere ever. On FOX in Spain, TOUCH ranked No. 1 in its time period among Adults 18-49 in the Pay TV universe, and on FOX Latin American Channels, TOUCH outperformed the channels' primetime average by double- and triple-digit percentage increases in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Other successful launches included ProSieben in Germany, TV3 in Norway and Channel 1 in Russia. Finally, airing day-and-date with FOX in the U.S., the series' second episode on Global-TV in Canada outperformed the January 25 Special Sneak Preview telecasts of the pilot by +27%.

TOUCH is a production of Chernin Entertainment and Tailwind Productions, in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Tim Kring created the series and wrote the pilot. Kring, Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants), Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Kiefer Sutherland, Suzan Bymel (The War at Home) and Carol Barbee (Jericho) are executive producers. Lawrence directed the pilot.

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