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Disney promises early delivery

Disney to offer US series to int’l nets sooner.

International broadcasters will be able to air US series much earlier after studios pledged to deliver shows faster.

Disney-ABC International TV is leading the march to enable channels, particularly in English speaking territories and key European markets, to air shows much closer to their US TX.

Tom Toumazis, EVP and MD, Disney-ABC International TV, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Canada, said that it hoped this move would reduce online piracy. "When we started to develop hits like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy in 2004, they got a lot of coverage in the celebrity press, even prior to the shows being broadcast in those markets and the internet played a significant role [in subsequent illegal downloading]," he said.

Disney will focus on these large returning shows as well as some new series, particularly Dirty Sexy Money and Grey’s spinoff Private Practice. In markets that dub, shows bought at the May Screenings were previously available by the following March. He said: "With the full line up, we pledge to deliver in the second week in January so European broadcasters can start US shows at the beginning of the year."

Other studios are also speeding up delivery. CBS Paramount International TV believes some of its current shows can be delivered to certain markets as early as January. A CBS source said: "In countries where they subtitle, it’s fairly quick. For instance, in Scandinavia that can be done in a couple of weeks."

Last year, CBS Paramount made sci-fi show Jericho available to Australian broadcaster Ten eight hours after the US broadcast.