Showtime signs deal to air DreamWorks films
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - CBS Corp's Showtime Networks Inc said on Thursday it has signed a deal to air movies from DreamWorks Studios, in a long-term agreement that could help restore content Showtime lost when three top studios started their own channel.
Showtime Networks reached its deal with the Walt Disney Co, which is handling distribution for privately held DreamWorks, a separate company from publicly traded DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
Showtime will air up to 35 DreamWorks Studios movies between this year and 2015, the cable network said.
Showtime Networks Chairman and CEO Matthew Blank said in a statement that his company expects a "great supply of high-profile, commercially successful films" from the studio run by Steven Spielberg and his DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider.
In the past, DreamWorks has produced or co-produced box office hits such as action-packed "Transformers," thriller "Disturbia" and musical "Dreamgirls."
In 2008, Showtime lost movie content from three studios when Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer walked away to start their own premium pay channel. The studios' Epix channel was launched last fall.
Showtime already has long-term deals with independent studios Summit Entertainment and the Weinstein Company.
DreamWorks upcoming movies include the comedy "Dinner for Schmucks," which is due out this summer, and next year's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," directed by Spielberg. Neither of the two films are part of the Showtime agreement, a DreamWorks spokesman said.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Hans Peters)
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