BSkyB, Warner Bros sign UK film deal
LONDON, Sept 19 |
LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - BSkyB has signed a deal for the right to screen new Warner Bros films on Sky Movies channels and video-on-demand services, tightening its grip on British pay-TV little more than a month after a regulator cleared it of unfairly dominating the British market.
Under the deal, announced on Wednesday and spanning five years, subscribers to Sky Movies and customers of NOW TV, an internet service powered by Sky, will have access to Warner releases about six months after they end their cinema runs.
The films, including blockbusters such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Batman sequel The Dark Knight Rises, will then be available exclusively on Sky Movies for more than a year. Customers will also have access to older Warner Bros titles, such as The Matrix franchise and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The deal means that Sky continues to enjoy exclusive UK rights to new releases from all six major Hollywood studios. Rivals complain that the satellite broadcaster's dominance of the British market restricts competition and leads to higher prices.
Last month the Competition Commission ruled that BSkyB's position in movies did not adversely affect Britain's pay-TV retail market, saying that new arrivals Lovefilm and Netflix had increased customer choice.
Some commentators are expecting Netflix to tryto sign up one of the big Hollywood studios to help it to build its business in Britain.
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