Pay TV is ‘Lost’ in Fox pact

NEW YORK — Universal’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” will not end up on pay TV, at least not for the next dozen years.

That circumstance stood out in the still unconfirmed reports that Universal has sold “Lost World” for a staggering $80 million to the Fox network for 10 runs over 12 years. Instead of having to wait for at least three years before it became available to a broadcast network, sources say Fox ponied up big bucks to smother any pay TV offers and get the picture within a year and a half of its theatrical run.

“Lost World” director Steven Spielberg had the flexibility to grab the Fox offer: His contract with the studio makes any picture he directs exempt from the output deal Universal has with John Malone’s Starz paycable network, according to sources. HBO, Showtime and Starz would’ve all bid on “Lost World,” but because they don’t accept advertising they wouldn’t be able to harvest any immediate financial benefits from the “Lost World” scheduling.

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