In a deal worth Euro 23.3m, KirchMedia has acquired the free- and pay -TV rights to a 22-film package from Splendid Film for the German market, including Traffic, Gangs Of New York, Dr T & The Women and Cutaway.

Commenting on the deal, KirchMedia's deputy chairman Fred Kogel welcomed "the beginning of a successful collaboration with Splendid Film. The acquired films have a great audience potential".

The deal is a timely boon for Splendid which has experienced a difficult six months for its national licence trading division. In its first quarterly report this year, the Cologne-based company noted that the division had been "severely affected by restrained sales activity from dealings in licences with German television companies", and its half-yearly results, released last week, showed Splendid had a turnover of only EUR 0.4 million from national licensing.

The deal with Kirch also breaks the myth of an alleged "buyers strike" which had seen the two commercial TV groups of the KirchGroup and Bertelsmann/RTL supposedly refusing to buy film rights from the publicly listed media companies.