Sony, Antena 3 pact for movies

Spanish deal encompasses 2009-11 theatrical releases

MADRID — Sony Pictures Television has inked an exclusive, free-to-air first-run feature film deal with powerful Spanish commercial network Antena 3.

The three-year pact gives Antena 3 broadcasting rights to half of the movies released theatrically by Sony for the period 2009-2011.

It includes titles such as “Angels and Demons,” “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” “The Karate Kid,” “The Tourist,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” “An Education” and “Eat Pray Love.”

Antena 3 has also taken free-to-air rights to a package of recent Sony blockbusters that features “The Da Vinci Code,” “Bad Boys II,” “Maid in Manhattan” and “Hellboy.”

The DeAPlaneta-controlled broadcaster operates four free-to-air nationwide TV services in Spain. Core channel Antena 3 programs a weekly primetime movie slot dubbed El Peliculon. Antena 3 also airs big U.S. studio movies via dedicated digital terrestrial channels Neox, Nova and Nitro.

Last Mipcom, Antena 3 and the Walt Disney Co. announced an exclusive, three-year first-run feature film deal for Spain, which kicked off in January and included pics such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

From Alliance Atlantis’s Madrid-based distribbery Aurum Producciones the Spanish broadcaster has secured upcoming feature films including “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” Nu Image’s remake of “Conan” and Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3D “The Three Musketeers.”

April’s analog switch-off in Spain has sparked an escalating number of startup DTT services, goosing local broadcasters’ demand for studios’ movies and dramas.