German TV powerhouse inks new Warners contract

The studio could generate $300 million from the program supply deal

BERLIN — German commercial powerhouse ProSiebenSat 1 has inked a program supply deal with Warner Bros., which could be worth $300 million to the Hollywood studio over the next three years.

Deal will provide the multi-channel Teutonic broadcasting group with first choice on an unspecified number of new TV series produced and distribbed by Warner Bros. through the 2009-2010 season.

The hefty price tag is in keeping with the healthy state of the foreign market for U.S. shows, especially dramas, and for A-list movies which can be programmed as appointment television.

Arrangement with ProSiebenSat 1 would be for the life of those skeins.

Other dramas or sitcoms outside the deal could be licensed by Warner Bros. separately to other German players.

Warners has been the largest supplier of primetime fare to the American networks for several years, placing as many as a dozen newcomers in some seasons.

ProSiebenSat 1 has likely agreed to choose half a dozen new series in each of the next three seasons.

The deal also provides the German company with the studio’s movie slates for the next three years starting in January, including a new “Harry Potter,” “Ocean’s 13,” an epic called “10,000 B.C” helmed by Roland Emmerich plus New Line’s planned trilogy based on Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”, and “Rush Hour 3.”

Warners Bros. Intl TV prexy Jeffrey Schlesinger declined to comment on the deal, in keeping with most of the studios’ policy of letting the buying client announce their acquisitions – or not.

ProSiebenSat 1 also is keeping mum on the deal, declining to comment.

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