Gephyrophillia | Watch This Space #143

Originally Posted on 05/16/2006 by Jeff Harris

In case you missed the news yesterday, Liberty Media announced that they're going to buy the remaining shares of IDT Entertainment for a stock-cash swap.

Don't know who IDT Entertainment is? Wow, they must have a lot of work to do.

Anyway, IDT Entertainment is the corporation that owns Film Roman Entertainment (the animators behind X-Men Evolution, The Simpsons, Tripping The Rift), Manga Entertainment (a popular anime distributor who's best-known franchise is Ghost in the Shell), DKP Studios (a Toronto-based CG animation and visual effects house), and Anchor Bay Entertainment (producer and video distributor of numerous shows and movies). IDT is also responsible for a pair of upcoming animated productions, Spawn: The Animation and Toonami's upcoming Hellboy movies and Tony Hawk Boom Boom Sabotage.

After the deal is done, the unit will become a production division of Starz Entertainment (the unit responsible for the management of the Starz/Encore family of premium movie channels). Liberty Media plans to create numerous projects, including original live-action and animated movies, series, and specials, not only for their channels, but all over the channelscape and through any other distribution outlet. IDT Entertainment and Starz will have a five-year output contract to air original titles on the Starz family of networks.

Guess this means that Spawn: The Animation may actually have a home when it's ready to air.

As a guy who knows that content is king, I'm kind of interested in what Liberty Media will do with the resources and libraries of IDT Entertainment. I'm not talking about the stuff that IDT has done for other folks, but rather, the projects IDT owns outright, including their Manga and Mainframe titles. And due to the fact that unlike certain Atlanta-based network operators, Liberty Media isn't afraid to launch new channels, so it wouldn't be out of the question that Liberty actually has the guts to launch a premium animation channel that is kid-friendly in the daytime, family-oriented in primetime, and older-audience-based overnight. They have the confidence to invest funds in new productions, and they're looking for new ways to distribute their products to the masses.

Speculative? Of course, but stranger things have happened.

*end transmission*

Jeff Harris,
The X Bridge Creator/Webmaster
May 16, 2006


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