ABC lines up on ‘Mile,’ ‘Sunday’

Net to pay $30 mil for b'cast preems of WB pix

FROM NATPE

NEW ORLEANS — ABC will pony up about $30 million for the exclusive broadcast premieres of two Warner Bros. hit theatricals: “The Green Mile” and “Any Given Sunday.”

The movies will become available to ABC in time for the May 2002 sweeps. Sources said that although the network window stretches for four years, Turner Broadcasting’s TBS and TNT could buy a burst of runs of each picture in 2003 or 2004 since Turner is a sister company of Warner Bros.

ABC would subtract from its license fee any money shelled out by Turner for the window-sharing arrangement.

ABC has tended to avoid window-sharing deals in the past, except for animated and family movies produced by its parent company Walt Disney, which shift back and forth between the Disney Channel and ABC.

The Warner Bros. deal comes a week after ABC signed a contract to get the broadcast premiere of Columbia Pictures’ “Stuart Little,” which will play in ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney” timeslot on Sunday night.

Other movie purchases for the “Wonderful World” slot include “Toy Story II” and “Tarzan,” both from Walt Disney. For the 9 p.m. movie time periods, ABC has in the last six months bought such hits as Touchstone’s “The Sixth Sense,” DreamWorks’ “The Haunting” and Universal’s “Notting Hill.”

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