Spain's free-to-air web to show five pics a day

MADRID — The Walt Disney Co. has inked a package of more than 60 movies with Spain’s Imagina/Televisa-owned broadcaster La Sexta. Pics will play on Sexta’s new nationwide free-to-air service La Sexta3.

Pact covers Disney-distributed modern classics such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “High Fidelity” and “The Hurricane.”

Move forms part of a redesign of Sexta3′s programming four months after bowing as a foreign fiction channel.

Kicking off Monday, Sexta3 will air daily five feature films, seven days at week, combined with in-house-produced film news reports.

Movies apart, Sexta3 will continue to reserve a morning TV slot for telenovelas produced by Sexta shareholder Televisa.

“Spain’s current TV commercial market offers multiple dedicated channels models such as children-oriented or TV series services,” said Sexta CEO Jose Miguel Contreras.

“With La Sexta3 we’re trying to fill a gaping gap: The lack of a free-to-air movie channel in Spain,” he added.

The large amount of film titles La Sexta3 plans to air — 1,680 a year — confirms Sexta as a key client for U.S. studios in Spain’s free-to-air TV market, which boasts more than 40 TV services.

Beyond a three-year output deal for skeins and movies signed in March with Warner Bros., Sexta has closed further movie package pacts with MGM, Fox and Paramount.

“We are in talks with the studios to extend these current movie deals to feed La Sexta3 programming,” said Fernando Jerez, Sexta’s head of programming.

The first-run feature films negotiated to date with the studios air via Sexta’s core channel on its Tuesday night primetime movie slot El Taquillazo.

Bowing Feb. 1, El Taquillazo’s first four broadcasts averaged a 14% aud share. Sexta’s monthly share through Feb. 27 was 6.3%. Taquillazo’s early aud success has boosted Sexta execs’ interest in strengthening their movie offer on Sexta3.

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