Alchemy, Universal team on deal

Pact covers DVD, VOD rights to certain pics

Universal Pictures Intl. Entertainment has inked an exclusive strategic deal with Alchemy Entertainment to release Alchemy’s slate of skeins and big-budget miniseries on DVD and via video-on-demand platforms around the world.

Production budget for Alchemy’s slate tops $100 million, with titles including “The Bounty,” a co-production with Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free for the BBC and ProSieben in Germany; $15 million pic “Diamonds,” starring Judy Davis and Derek Jacobi; “Burn Up,” a $15 million co-production with Kudos starring Neve Campbell and Bradley Whitford for the BBC and Global in Canada; and “Everest,” starring Jason Priestley and William Shatner.

“The deal is a partnership that fully exploits the rights not sold to broadcasters — rights that are being offered to the consumer in new ways,” said Alchemy head of business affairs Paul Fagan. “We are all sailing largely uncharted waters and have to build that into the dealmaking process.”

Fagan negotiated the deal soon after joining Alchemy this year following 20 years at the BBC. At the pubcaster he oversaw the rights negotiations for the pubcaster’s successful catch-up iPlayer service, which allows viewers to watch BBC content online free of charge for up to seven days after its initial broadcast.

Previously a specialist in big-budget miniseries, Alchemy has branched out into series production. CBS recently snapped up Alchemy’s first series, “Flashpoint,” a 13-episode skein about a SWAT team.

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