Exclusive pact creates second pay TV window
Sony has become the latest Hollywood studio to sign an exclusive U.K. distribution deal with Lovefilm, Amazon’s online entertainment service.Like Lovefilm’s previous pact with Warners, this creates a second pay TV window for Sony’s movies, after the first window covered by Sony’s output deal with News Corp. satcaster BSkyB. Lovefilm’s subscribers will be able to stream forthcoming Sony titles, as well as older films and TV series, from June. Titles covered by the deal, which was signed with Sony Pictures TV, include “Arthur Christmas,” “The Social Network” and “Salt.” Since being taken over by Amazon early this year, Lovefilm has accelerated its deal-making with U.S. studios and independent distributors, to bolster its online streaming catalog alongside its established DVD rental-by-post service. It has pacted with eOne, Studiocanal, Disney, Momentum and Lionsgate. Lovefilm is consolidating its market position ahead of next year’s U.K. launch of a rival streaming service by Netflix.