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BSkyB in pic pact with U.K.

British Sky Broadcasting has finally closed a three-year output deal for pay TV rights to movies backed by British Screen Finance, the U.K.’s semipublic film-funding body.

The deal will bring at least $ 9 million of new financing to U.K. film production and ensure that a minimum of 10 British films a year will get their TV premiere on Sky’s premium movie channels.

“We plan to use this deal as the basis for an open offer to British producers guaranteeing them a pay television license fee for all films receiving a meaningful theatrical release in the U.K,” Sky’s program chief David Elstein said.

Previously, Sky transmitted almost exclusively American films obtained through long-term output deals with the Hollywood studios.

“We welcome the deal with Sky TV, which represents a genuinely new source of revenue for British films,” added Simon Perry, chief exec of British Screen. “It will enable British Screen to expand its activities and will lead to more films being made.”

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