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Fremantlemedia Enterprises Strikes Two-Year Acquisition Deal With ORF's Universum Award Winning Series

In the lead up to the World Science Producers Congress (December 1 - 4, 2008), FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has announced a two-year acquisition agreement with Austrian public service broadcaster ORF (Osterreichischer Ruundfunk) for its popular blue-chip factual strand, UNIVERSUM.
The deal will see FME acquiring international distribution rights to four documentaries per year, of which FME has selected three titles: 'From Freezer to Furnace', 'Drakensberg' and 'O Two'. FME will attain worldwide rights to the programmes (excluding UK, USA, Canada and German speaking Europe) and will have first option in DVD rights negotiations.
ORF's documentaries are multi-award winning, this year UNIVERSUM's 'Nature Tech' received an Emmy for Best Camera at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York. UNIVERSUM first went on air in 1987, since then, this primetime slot has regularly achieved audience shares of up to 40%.
Due to its success, UNIVERSUM's output has doubled and now fills two weekly primetime slots on ORF. The programming is themed around natural history & science, ancient civilisations and adventure boasting exceptionally high production values, strong narrative and outstanding photography. UNIVERSUM is already an established international success having aired in more than 100 countries around the world.
'From Freezer to Furnace' explores how humans and wildlife will survive and adapt to extreme climate conditions on earth. 'Drakensberg' or 'Dragon Mountain' is a dynamic documentary journey about the astonishing mountain range in South Africa. It is also a story of animal survival in a landscape of overwhelming, pitiless power. 'O Two' uses impressive CGO and live-action reconstructions to follow the journey of a molecule of oxygen spanning thousands of millions of years.
Walter Köhler, Head of UNIVERSUM at ORF, said: "I am delighted to start this new partnership with FME. Their track record as one of the leading distribution companies worldwide will further strengthen the outreach of the UNIVERSUM brand and will help us to continut to produce the outstanding quality in the field of high-end factual programming the audiences worldwide expect from ORF-UNIVERSUM."
FME Vice President Programming, Mark Gray, commented: "UNIVERSUM is at the top of its game, it is one of the most highly regarded factual programming strands in world and deservedly so.
"Having a broad spectrum of factual programming is important to FME and we are very pleased with this addition and to be working alongside UNIVERSUM."
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