U.K. satcaster signs deal for Universal channels
LONDONNBCUniversal has inked a multi-year licensing pact with pay TV satcaster BSkyB for exclusive TV rights in the U.K. and Ireland to its pics, spurning subscription VOD services Netflix and Amazon’s Lovefilm. In a separate deal, BSkyB has signed with Universal Networks Intl. to extend the availability of UNI’s TV channels as part of BSkyB’s subscription TV packages. The NBCU movie licensing pact gives BSkyB’s Sky Movies an exclusive window to pics after their theatrical run in the U.K. and Ireland. Titles include “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Battleship,” “Ted” and “The Bourne Legacy,” as well as upcoming releases “Les Miserables,” “The Man With the Iron Fists” and “Despicable Me 2.” Customers will also get exclusive subscription access to library titles, including “Jurassic Park,” “Back to the Future,” “Gladiator” and “Scarface.” All movies will be made available on-demand via Sky Go as well as in high definition and 3D, where available. The NBCU deal follows a similar pact signed in September with Warner Bros. Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, said, “Sky Movies customers will enjoy the biggest and best selection of movies on their terms — and at least a year ahead of any other subscription service.” The channel carriage agreement with UNI gives access to shows such as “Rookie Blue,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Cold Case” on Universal Channel; “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” “Fashion Police” and “Chelsea Lately” on E! Entertainment Television; and “Continuum,” “Warehouse 13″ and “Haven” on Syfy. Other channels included in the agreement include The Style Network and Movies 24. BSkyB has more than 10.3 million pay TV subscribers.