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Sony, Spain’s Atresmedia Pact for Pics

Free-to-air volume deal includes 'Whiplash,' 'Chappie,' 'Fury,' among 30 titles

MADRID — Sony Pictures Television has inked an exclusive, free-to-air first-run feature film deal with powerful Spanish media conglom Atresmedia.

Kicking-off in March, the volume deal will last two years, marking the renewal of a previous agreement both companies closed in 2014. The about-30 movie pact means that the DeAPlaneta-controlled company maintains its longstanding and stable appetite for U.S. fare.

Deal encompasses newest Sony theatrical releases, such as 2015’s robot-themed “Chappie,” or, from 2014, Oscar-winning music drama “Whiplash,” Marvel-produced “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” action-thriller “The Equalizer” and war drama “Fury.”

Under the agreement, Sony will also allow Atresmedia’s channel bouquet to air feature films that bowed in 2013, such as futuristic adventure “After Earth,” hybrid movie “The Smurfs 2,” sci-fi actioner “Elysium,” Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down,” crime actioner “2 Guns” and Tom Hanks vehicle “Captain Phillips,” plus the Minnie Driver-starring mini-series “The Red Tent.”

It continues Atresmedia group’s long-term relationship with Sony, which goes back more than ten years.

“What this new deal does is to consolidate and strengthen not only our relationship with Sony Pictures Television but also Atresmedia’s strategic position in the Spanish TV market for the acquisition of first-run films in order to maintain the TV audience leadership of [movie slot] El Peliculon,” says Mercedes Gamero, Atresmedia acquisitions head.

Aired Saturdays and Sundays primetime on Atresmedia’s core channel Antena 3, El Peliculon is the most successful movie slot in Spain’s free-to-air TV market, having placed six movie titles in 2014’s top ten of most watched films, averaging a solid 16% share and 2.6 million viewers over the year. Multicine, Antena 3’s weekend afternoon film container, also led in 2014 with a 15.7% and 1.9 million eyeballs.

Sony features in the deal will also be able to bow in further primetime movie slots across Atresmedia’s roster of channels, such as LaSexta’s El Taquillazo, which, aired Tuesdays, averages a strong 10% share and 1.7 million viewers, plus DTT niche networks Neox’s Cinematrix and Neox y Accion and Nova’s Noche de Pelicula.

According to Gamero, Atresmedia also enjoys strong and long-term relationships for feature films with other U.S. distributors such as Warner Bros and NBC U.

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