Beleaguered German pay-TV platform Premiere has sealed a deal with Vivendi Universal for such films as Gladiator, Erin Brockovich and The Mummy Returns as it attempts to put itself on a sound financial footing and attract new investors.

Universal is the third studio, following Fox Entertainment Group Inc. and Dreamworks, to agree a contract with Premiere under revised conditions, the German channel said in a statement.

Both Premiere and Universal agreed not to disclose terms of the contract.

Renegotiating costly film and sports deals - Premiere already has secured a revised contract to show games in Germany's soccer league, the Bundesliga - is a key to attracting new investors to the TV platform, which has struggled to win customers.

"We probably will conclude deals with one or two more Hollywood majors before Christmas," said the company's managing director, Georg Kofler.

The loss-making Premiere, Germany's only pay-TV channel, has fallen short of subscriber targets. Germans, who already pay 16 euros (dlrs 15.75) a month in taxes to support public television, already receive 30 free channels and are reluctant to pay again.

The deal is expected to mark the end of a lengthy dispute with the US studio over the supply of films to Premiere although Universal is expected to go ahead with its legal action against KirchMedia over unpaid bills.