Par dials Telefonica for VOD

Imagenio pact kicks off in July

Paramount Intl. TV has closed its first video-on-demand pact for Spain, inking with telco giant Telefonica to supply pics to its Internet broadband TV operator Imagenio.

Deal, which kicks off in July, will include pics “Just Like Heaven,” “Four Brothers,” “Bad News Bears” and “Elizabethtown.”

Paramount pact follows hot on the heels of deals with Disney and Warner Bros. But despite its rendezvous with Hollywood, Imagenio still maintains commitments with local independent distribs such as Filmax, DeAPlaneta, Sogepaq, Alta Films, Wanda Films and Notro Films.

Combined with fixed-line phone service and Internet broadband, Telefonica’s ADSL TV service has more than 250,000 subscribers. Two weeks ago, the company estimated it would sign up 1.4 million clients by 2009.

Imagenio has improved its content since it launched in 2004. It includes more than 60 TV channels, after recently adding Fox, National Geographic Channel, MTV2, TCM and ESPN Classic.

Beyond pics, Telefonica is developing Imagenio’s VOD offer by including local TV fiction in the mix. In April, it inked with free-to-air network Telecinco to sell episodes of Spanish primetime dramas “Aida,” “Hospital Central” and “The Serranos” a week before they air on Telecinco.

ADSL TV is taking off in Spain, and brands like France Telecom’s Wanadoo TV, Grupalia’s Superbanda and Jazztel’s Jazztelia TV are competing with more traditional pay TV operators such as Sogecable, owner of satellite service Digital Plus and cable TV leader Ono.

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