Canal Plus has reached new five year agreements with thefilm industry set to go into effect on January 1, 2005 the company saidyesterday.

Among the points covered in accords with lobby groups theBLIC (representing the majors), the BLOC (representing the independents) andARP (writers, directors and producers) it was decided that Canal will nowinvest 17% of its budget set aside for French acquisitions into films with aprice tag of less than Euros 4m. The deal is intended to foster cinematicdiversity by encouraging the support of smaller films.

Canal Plus will continue to spend 12% of its revenues onacquiring European films, 9% of which will go to French works. The company saidit would also fulfil 80% of its obligations towards French films via pre-buys.

The group also renewed its commitment to financially aidexhibitors and distributors which could reach Euros 80 million and 40 millionrespectively.

Further, the channel was granted the right to air films onWednesday and Saturday nights with the caveat that films must not have soldmore than 1.2 million tickets during their theatrical runs.

Previously, it was stipulated that movies could not be runso as to encourage cinema-going and not reduce distributors' revenues onWednesdays when movies are released and on the weekends.