Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has signed adeal to represent the TV rights in Spain to MiramaxFilms' feature slate.

Theexclusive multi-year deal, signed on Friday (Oct 10), replaces an earlier dealthat saw local all-rights distributor Lauren Films handle Miramax's titles inall sectors of the Spanish market. But Miramax's relationship with Lauren wasterminated acrimoniously in August.

This is avery significant deal for us as it gives us rights to 17 films a year andpartial rights to perhaps ten others," said Tom Toumazis,BVITV senior vice president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The new deal starts with the immediate slate ofpictures spanningThe Hours, Chicago, Cold Mountain, Kill Bill and Neverland. Miramax, which is part of the Walt Disneygroup, but has traditionally sold off its rights in most territories, but isrepresented by BVITV in Italy, Germanyand the UK.

The deal,coupled with ongoing problems in the Spanish theatrical sector, would appear tosupport speculation that Miramax may now hold back licensing its other rightsin the Spanish market. In other similar circumstances, such as Italy, Germany and Australia, Miramax haseither gone it alone or chosen Buena Vista International to handle its theatricalreleases.

Rick Sands,Miramax Films' chief operating officer, said:"BVITV have established a reputation as a distributor who can deliver a"must-watch" experience for broadcasters. We are pleased to be represented by adistribution organization that has unparalleled relationships with broadcastersthroughout Europe. Welook forward to working closely with them in delivering an unforgettableentertainment experience to Spanish viewers."