IPTV service nabs VOD rights to pix

BEIJING — Chinese online TV company Youku has inked a licensing deal with NBCUniversal’s international TV distribution arm for video-on-demand rights for a selection of current, library and new content on Youku Premium, which has more than 300 million users.

The multi-year deal will include rights to 100 classics including “Schindler’s List,” “The Mummy” franchise and the “Jurassic Park” series, plus new titles like “Battleship” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which will appear on Youku’s platform for paid VOD after their Chinese theatrical releases.

Youku also has deals with Disney, Paramount, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox.

China’s online video market has more than 400 million viewers and is fast emerging as the future of TV in China, where many people access content on their handsets.

Huilong Zhu, Youku’s veep of movie operations and corporate development, said the deal would help the company make “one more step forward toward our goal of offering the highest-quality content to Youku’s more than 300 million viewers.”

In March Youku formed a joint company with arch rival Tudou.

In recent years, Chinese online video companies have started licensing content and creating their own skeins to woo auds.

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