People & Business: Movie moves

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The Independent Online
RICHARD BROOKE, who stepped aside as BSkyB's finance director in November 1997, has added another two heavyweights to the board of his fledgling pay-per-view movie channel, called "digital broadcasting company" (dbc), which launches this summer.

Mr Brooke has lured the former driving force behind PolyGram in Europe, Alain Levy, and his deputy, Mark Meyer, to join dbc's board.

dbc is a joint venture between Pearson Television and Deutsche Bank and will offer a choice of 10 movie channels broadcast via SkyDigital.

Mr Brooke's team includes Roger Hall as marketing director, who already has film marketing experience following his seven-year stint at Blockbuster Video. And he has hired an American lawyer and former Canal+ executive, Amory Schwarz, to do the deals and buy the films from the American studios. dbc's finance director is Helen Pilkington, who was formerly group manager at UIP, the UK distributor for Universal, Paramount and MGM studios. UIP was broken up by the European Union as an illegal cartel following a complaint by BSkyB. Mr Brooke insists however that there is no ill feeling.

Lastly there is Karel Sagers, formerly head of movies at Canal+ in the Benelux countries, who will be in charge of selecting and scheduling films. The team may expand further, however: "I'm sure there'll be one or two others popping up," says Mr Brooke.