Dolan lionizes nets

AMC, WE, IFC buy 450 films from MGM library

MGM has sold more than 450 theatrical movies from its library to Chuck Dolan’s cable networks AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC.

The deal comes less than a month after MGM agreed to sell its 20% stake in the three networks to Dolan for $500 million, hoping to use the cash as part of its bid to buy Vivendi Universal. MGM has since dropped out of the Viv U auction.

MGM and Dolan did not disclose the amount of money that will change hands for the movies. But Rainbow Media, the umbrella company for the three networks, said it will be able to sell the MGM titles in a subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) window.

Special services

Rainbow plans to create separate SVOD services for AMC, WE and IFC, making the programming available to cable operators not only in the linear 24-hour channels but in VOD, which operators would sell to customers for a separate monthly fee. The VOD application would allow cable subscribers to call up an MGM movie at their convenience and get full VCR capability (pause, fast forward, rewind).

AMC, WE and IFC will be able to draw on titles such as “Annie Hall,” “Platoon,” “Raging Bull,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Fargo,” “Legally Blonde,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Some Like It Hot,” “The Terminator,” all of the “Rocky” movies and “Thelma & Louise.”

The movies will start showing up on the three networks next year. The license term stretches out to 2020. Individual titles will get short windows at AMC, WE and IFC so MGM can keep selling them to other cable networks, both pay and basic, and to broadcast networks and TV stations in syndication.