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James Bond Movies Return to ITV in U.K.

Network takes back free-to-air rights to 007 catalog

LONDON — MGM Intl. Television Distribution has inked a multi-year deal with the U.K.’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV covering exclusive rights to the James Bond movie catalog.

All 23 films in the franchise will be available for free on ITV, which will also have the free-to-air premiere of the latest instalment, “Skyfall,” which will air next year. The film is the most successful Bond film of all time, grossing more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Last year, pay TV operator BSkyB signed a one-year deal for all U.K. rights to the Bond catalog, and launched a dedicated channel for the pics. ITV had previously held the U.K. free-to-air rights for almost 40 years. Today’s deal marks a return of the catalog to ITV after a year’s break.

MGM is thrilled to partner again with ITV to bring James Bond home to U.K. audiences,“ said Chris Ottinger, president, international television distribution and acquisitions, MGM.

“The Bond franchise is a jewel in the MGM library and we are delighted to share the films with the viewers across the United Kingdom.”

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