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TBS, TNT open windows on 19 Par pix

Deal inked for $48 mil

NEW YORK — Turner Broadcasting’s TBS and TNT have ponied up $47.5 million to harvest the cable rights to 19 Paramount theatrical movies, including “Forrest Gump,” “The Truman Show,” “Runaway Bride,” “Deep Impact,” “The General’s Daughter” and “Star Trek: Insurrection.”

All of the high-visibility titles in the package except for the Mel Gibson movie “Payback” will get two or more runs on a broadcast network before they land at the doorstep of TBS and TNT. On “Payback,” TBS bought the exclusive network window, which means the cabler will get the movie within 31 months of its release in U.S. theaters. On all of the titles except “Forrest Gump,” Showtime gets an 18-month exclusive pay TV window before they go to the broadcast network. HBO had the “Forrest Gump” pay TV rights.

What’s unusual about the bigger deal is that for at least 10 of the 19 Paramount titles, TBS/TNT will get the pictures immediately after the broadcast net takes its one or two runs. That earlier window means that the cablers will be able to take a burst of runs of the 10 pics before they go back to Showtime for a second pay window of one year.

In the past, a movie company would sell its pictures to a TV station in syndication after they completed their broadcast-network runs. But the main TV-station buyers for these movies have now become WB and UPN affiliates that fill most of their primetime schedule with network programming, not syndicated movies.

The 10 Paramount movies that get to TBS and TNT in the last year or two of their network window are “The Truman Show,” “The General’s Daughter,” “200 Cigarettes,” “Snake Eyes,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,” “The Odd Couple II,” “Sliding Doors,” “The Wood,” “A Night at the Roxbury” and “Payback.”

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