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Warner, Telefonica team

Agreement provides TV broadcast rights for Spain's Antena 3

Warner Bros. has just clenched a multi-year, multi-faceted deal to provide the studio’s programming to Telefonica Media outlets in Spain and Argentina.

Deal was inked by Warner Bros. Intl. TV prexy Jeffrey Schlesinger and Telefonica Media managing director Ele Juarez and unveiled Wednesday. No figure was available for the deal.

The agreement provides for the terrestrial TV rights to a slate of library films and series — think “Lethal Weapon” and “Bodyguard” — for broadcast on Spain’s Antena 3, as well as the pay-per-view rights to new feature films like “Pokemon” and “Miss Congeniality” on the Spanish Via Digital platform.

Slate of titles on the way

In Argentina, Telefonica Media will get the rights to a slate of current and library feature titles, as well as new and returning TV series, including “Smallville” and “Citizen Baines.”

The deal marks the first time that Telefonica Media — which will soon be called Admira — has used its corporate muscle across several company assets to tie down a big product deal.

The pact also breaks rival Sogecable’s pay TV exclusivity on Warner Bros. movies. Given the good relations between Warner Bros. and Juarez, it maybe just a matter of time before WB and TM extend their relationship to other forms of collaboration such as pic co-production.

The deal will also considerably boost Via Digital’s pic line-up, where to date it has been consistently outgunned by the Sogecable-owned digital platform Canal Satelite Digital. “We are pleased to have concluded this deal with Telefonica Media, a world-class company, as it provides additional outlets for our product in Spain and Argentina,” Schlesinger said.

“This first agreement with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution will be a considerable asset for developing our digital platform Via Digital, as well as for our programming on Antena 3, our Spanish channel, and on our Argentine channel,” Juarez said.

Telefonica Media, which will soon rebrand itself as Admira, is a fast-expanding international player, with activities both in production and content distribution. Through its unit Endemol, a leading format producer, Telefonica Media has a presence in over 20 territories.

Warner Bros. international TV distribution unit is among the top three distributors of programming in the world, handling more than 39,000 hours of TV shows and movies.

(John Hopewell in London contributed to this report.)

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