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Fox, Warners sign Spanish TV deals

Antena 3 to show 'Angel,' 'Beach'

MADRID — Hollywood majors Fox and Warners are sealing megabuck deals with Spanish broadcasters, underscoring the new vibrancy of this TV market.

High-flying commercial broadcaster Antena 3, controlled by Telefonica Media, announced Friday a wide-ranging, five-year output deal with Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV for both series and movies.

The output accord includes “Angel,” “Roswell” and “Malcolm in the Middle” though not “Ally McBeal,” which is already licensed by Tele 5. It also covers theatrical features, from “Independence Day” and “The Full Monty” to “The Beach” and beyond.

The film deal alone, which will probably include some 60 movies overall, is understood to be worth $130 million.

“Antena 3 is the natural home for both our series and feature films,” Twentieth Intl. exec VP Marion Edwards told Daily Variety. Senior VP Europe Gerard Grant and the Spanish station’s general manager Juan Jose Diaz were instrumental in putting this deal together, Edwards added.

Pubcaster RTVE is rumored to have moved smartly over the last two weeks to counter the Antena 3 accord. Pubcaster is close to a product deal with Warner Bros. Said to be for just three years, pact includes top WB movies and some series.

RTVE execs and WBIT execs declined to comment on the likely accord.

The two deals reflect the new financial health of Spain’s broadcasters and their proficient management. In 1999, Antena 3 posted net profits of $122 million based on revenues of $577 million.

Meanwhile, recently appointed RTVE CEO Pio Cabanillas managed to balance the pubcaster’s books in 1999 for the first time in nearly a decade, largely through sales of RTVE satellite and sports assets.

(Elizabeth Guider in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

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