BMW inks for own sat net

Car co., DirecTV join on channel to run shorts

In an effort to give its self-financed film series “The Hire” more exposure, BMW has inked a deal with DirecTV to create its own channel on the satcaster.

The BMW Films Channel will bow in late November and run for five weeks, broadcasting the next three installments of the carmaker’s series, which star Clive Owen (“Gosford Park”) and were directed by A-list helmers John Woo, Tony Scott and Joe Carnahan.

Channel will be available during weekend primetime hours and run a half-hour loop of the short films that feature a driver who finds himself in mysterious, comedic or action-packed situations.

The first five shorts, directed by John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu and Wong Kar-Wai, bowed last year on the Internet and became part of BMW’s official national ad campaign. They were downloaded by 13 million Netizens.

The DirecTV deal is considered a way for BMW to boost the viewership in its investment, as well as target the satcaster’s demo of upscale auds. DirecTV has more than 10.7 million subs.

Since DirecTV has other unused channel space at times, the satcaster is considering pursuing similar deals with other brands, looking to use entertainment as a way to reach consumers.

“The Hire’s” next three shorts hit the Web Oct. 24. Ridley Scott exec produced the projects.

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