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Sogecable, paybox Lobby for $11 mil pact

MADRID — Spain’s top paybox channel, Canal Plus Spain, and its owner, Sogecable, have signed a multipoint deal with Spanish producers Lobby Fapae, providing a cash injection and some $11 million for the Spanish film production sector.

Sogecable’s high-flying digital TV platform, CanalSatelite Digital (CSD), is under fire from Spain’s government over its use of proprietary access decoders and ownership of exclusive pay-per-view soccer rights.

Film producers are still concerned that Spanish pubcaster RTVE could scale back its film financing commitment for upcoming local pic productions. In times of such uncertainty, pay-TV deals with Canal Plus Spain have become essential financing sources for local production.

Under the terms of the agreement, paybox Canal Plus Spain and Sogecable will commit a minimum $9.9 million to upcoming Spanish film production. In a pioneering move, Sogecable and Canal Plus Spain will also pour $1 million into partial financing of Spanish TV movies and $530,000 into the promotion of local movies in Spain.

Outside of this deal, Sogecable film production arm Sogetel co-finances some 12 Spanish films a year, while its distribution division Sogepaq pre-buys some eight features annually.

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