Finland Ch. 4 in signing spree

AMSTERDAM — Channel 4, Finland’s newest commercial competitor, has been wasting no time in inking deals with most of Hollywood’s major studios.

The terrestrial channel, which began launching to some 50% of the Finnish population on June 1, has signed long-term exclusive deals with Columbia TriStar, CTE and CBS. It also has inked a pack of one-year deals with Paramount and Warner Bros.

The 1,000-hour three-year deal with Columbia TriStar includes drama series “Early Edition” and “Michael Hayes,” and all feature film productions through 1996, including Jerry Maguire. The three-year deal with CBS includes upcoming Steven Bochco productions, and with CTE, all new drama for the next three years.

Channel 4, which expects to cover 75% of Finland by year end, is in a no-holds-barred battle to steal audience share from MTV3, which up until a few weeks ago, was Finland’s only national commercial channel.

MTV3 has three-year exclusive deals with Universal and 20th Century Fox.

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