U nets beefs up film-tv skein collection

Content deals give co. enough material to last until 2003

BERLIN — Universal Studios Networks has inked a slew of deals to boost its stockpile of pics with hundreds of features and TV series.

Company, which operates local pay TV webs Studio Universal and 13th Street, is getting content from MGM, Columbia, Universal and German distribs Tele Munchen Group, CLT/Ufa and Tobis Studio Canal.

The two webs are premiering various titles on German TV this year, including “American Psycho,” “The 13th Warrior,” “Happy, Texas,” Danish love story “Show Me Love” and “The Legend of 1900.”

Deal increases USN’s exclusive pay TV library to more than 1,000 films and nearly 2,000 hours of TV series. Company says it now has enough content to last until 2003.

Although the webs get a significant portion of their movies from parent company Universal, program director Marcus Ammon says USN also buys from other providers. Action and suspense channel 13th Street gets about 60% of its fare straight from Universal, while 30% of feature film web Studio Universal is U content.

The webs are carried in Germany and Austria on the Kirch Group’s Premiere World pay TV digital platform and in Switzerland by Cablecom.

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