'Shakespeare,' 'Patch,' others covered in TV rights pact

MADRID — Heating up the battle for digital TV rights in Spain, Spanish satcaster Via Digital has inked a five-year deal with Universal Studios for nonexclusive firstrun, pay-per-view TV rights to all U pics produced between 1997 and 2001.

The deal mirrors a similar non-exclusive arrangement for PPV rights signed by U in August 1997 with Sogecable’s CanalSatelite Digital (CSD). Pics covered by that deal include “Shakespeare in Love,” “Patch Adams,” “Meet Joe Black,” and “The Jackal.”

But the new agreement also underscores the fact that Spain’s digital TV rights battle is far from over.

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