The Fox Broadcasting network is believed to have acquired the US free TV rights to the package of studio-level films being put together by former Disney chief Joe Roth.

Fox, where Roth was once chairman of the studio, is the first US major network in years to commit in advance to a package of movies from an independent producer - a testament to Roth's talent connections and Hollywood clout. Normally, the major distributors sell their films individually or in packages in a pricing formula tied to their US box office.

The Fox deal, coupled with a North American theatrical and video sub-distribution deal thought to be with Sony Pictures and a pay-TV deal with either Encore or HBO, would complete the domestic financing structure for Roth's still-unnamed production venture.

Earlier this month, Germany's Senator became the first international distribution partner for Roth, acquiring all media rights in all German-speaking territories to an anticipated six films per year in the $10m-$100m budget range. So far only one title has been announced, the comedy Tomcats whose budget is at the lower end of that budget spectrum.