Dentsu and Tohokushinsha are to jointly acquire exclusive Japanese broadcasting rights to 150 Disney movies and TV series.
The deal, set to be finalised soon according to Dentsu officials, covers titles from 1999 to 2001, including The Sixth Sense, Pearl Harbor and 102 Dalmatians, as well as older films such The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Peter Pan. The value of the deal was not revealed, however.
Tohokushinsha is Japan's largest distributor of foreign films from Hollywood majors and other sources to television broadcasters, serving 121 commercial stations, public broadcaster NHK and various satellite and cable services. It also has interests in six cable and satellite channels, including Star Channel, a 24-hour movie channel that it operates with in partnership with four Hollywood studios (Warner, Paramount, Universal and MGM), the Itochu trading house, Sony and News Corp.
Dentsu is Japan's largest advertising agency and the fourth-largest in the world, with extensive media interests. In November it listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange; It's current market cap is $5.98bn (Y783 billion). Dentsu's stock price rose $7.63 (Y1,000) on news of the Disney deal, to $4,298 (Y563,000) on Tuesday, Jan 15.
Dentsu says it plans to use the funds raised by its IPO to develop digital content and invest in new media, including broadband, with the acquisition of film rights an important part of this strategy.