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20th Intl., Toei ink output deal

Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV, a unit of Fox Inc., and one of Japan’s film majors, Toei, today are signing an exclusive output deal, the first such all-encompassing agreement of its kind with a Japanese film producer/distrib.

Toei will have exclusive TV, satellite and non-pay cable distribution rights in Japan for all Fox product, from “The Simpsons” to “Hot Shots! Part Deux.”

15 years of synergy

“For the past 15 years we’ve bought a lot of films for television from the U.S. majors, and we almost always buy the most from Fox. Nearly every year we arrange a package with them.

“We are very interlinked and usually we do deals film by film. (With this agreement) we can stop the annoyance of doing it that way,” said Yoshihiko Sugiyama, Toei’s director of international sales and purchasing.

Vidpic pact

Secondarily Toei has agreed to co-produce a handful of Fox TV movies, up to five a year, with the possibility of further financial investment in features at some later date.

Exex in Japan declined to announce how long the agreement runs, saying only that “it will be for a really long time,” with emphasis on the long, according to Sugiyama.

No specifics on the cost of the deal were available.

Twentieth Century Fox TV Intl. president James Gianopulos was unavailable for comment.

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