Spain’s Sexta signs MGM pic deal

'Quantum of Solace' leads library pact

MADRID — MGM has inked a free-to-air movie deal with Spanish broadcaster La Sexta, led by 10 James Bond pics.

Pact kicks off in April and includes 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” the inaugural firstrun blockbuster Sexta has aired since launching in March 2006.

Package also includes the “Rocky” and “Robocop” franchises and Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer “Conan the Destroyer.”

It’s Sexta’s second Hollywood deal in a fortnight: It inked a three-year, exclusive, free-to-air output deal with Warner Bros. for new dramas, movies and film library titles.

The deals indicate fresh confidence at Imagina/Televisa-owned Sexta, which had previously passed on studio pics, arguing it could not compete for large auds with other TV operators until the April 2 switch to digital.

Sexta has steadily strengthened its position as Spain’s top free-to-air sports channel, mainly via Spanish soccer league games and Formula 1 motor racing. It also programs three weekly primetime U.S. skeins.

Sexta CEO Jose Miguel Contreras recently confirmed the launch of a second nationwide free-to-air TV channel by year end that could well be fed with Warner and MGM content.

Through Tuesday, Sexta averaged a 6.9 audience share, becoming the third highest-rated commercial web in Spain’s rampantly fragmenting broadcast market.