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USA buys 13-pic pack

Titles include 'T2,' 'Basic Instinct,' and 'Rambo'

USA Network has bought 13 theatrical films from Worldvision, five of which will be available for scheduling immediately: “Basic Instinct,” “Terminator 2,” “First Blood: Rambo I,” “Universal Soldier” and “The Babysitter.”

Other pics in the package –which encompasses titles released between 1982 and 1995 — include “Total Recall,” Oliver Stone’s “The Doors,” “Red Heat” and “Lock Up.” These will get to USA between 2000 and 2004, depending on previous commitments to other cable networks and to TV stations in syndication.

“We’re getting some of the big titles in this package for windows of as short as one month,” says Neil Hoffman, VP of programming for USA Networks. He declined to discuss prices, but a distributor source says the network will pay a total license fee of between $3 million and $4 million for the 13 pictures.

Hoffman says cable networks like USA are almost forced to settle for short windows for high-visibility older titles because “the marketplace for movies has become so active and competitive.”

Distributors like Worldvision can maximize revenues by constantly shuttling its movies from one cable network to another. These floating windows constitute a practice that cable-operator executives like Lynne Buening, VP of programming for Falcon Cable TV, have criticized as confusing to their subscribers, who think they’re getting cheated because the same movie turns up on as many as five different networks within a 12-month period.

The other three titles in the bundle are “Angel Heart,” “Extreme Prejudice” and “Q&A.”