Via Digital inks deals with Spanish distribs

Includes pay, PPV rights to 55 new titles from Lauren

SAN SEBASTIAN — Spanish digital satcaster Via Digital has inked exclusive pay and PPV deals with nine distributors in Spain.

The accords, which probably will represent the biggest business news in cash terms at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival, include key new agreements:

  • Pay and PPV rights to 55 new titles from Lauren Films, including Miramax and Good Machine heavyweights such as “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “The Cider House Rules” and “One Night at McCool’s”;

  • A raft of pics from Franchise Films and the Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), including “The Gangs of New York,” via Manga Films;

  • A clutch of strong titles from TriPictures such as “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Mexican”; and

  • A host of auteur titles delivered under new, often short-term accords with niche distribs Vertigo Films, Golem Distribucion, Musidora Films and Civite Films.

Via Digital reportedly paid north of 3 billion pesetas ($15.4 million) for the Lauren pics and over $10 million for the Manga slate.

Keeping pace

The deals should help maintain Spain’s distrib sector as one of the most vibrant in Europe. Telefonica Media-owned Via is driving into auteur pics for the first time in its history through the pacts, which also underscore the digital platform’s highly aggressive buying policy under CEO Juan Ruiz de Gauna and Ramon Colom, Via’s new general manager, who was appointed in March and is responsible for acquisitions.

Boasting some 600,000 subscribers, Via Digital still posts substantial losses.

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