Bankrupt KirchMedia has reinforced its future position in the German market by acquiring a $500m film package from Paramount Pictures, giving it the rights to around 100 feature films and series through to 2011. It has also unveiled a raft of long-term film deals with key German distributors.
The Paramount deal includes the free-TV rights to films such as the Tom Cruise drama Vanilla Sky and the teen movie Save The Last Dance For Me as well as the new Star Trek TV series.
"With this deal we have taken a big step forward, both in business terms as far as the prospects of KirchMedia are concerned, and also in consideration of compensating the creditors," said administrator Wolfgang von Betteray in an official statement.
The Paramount deal comes just three weeks after Kirch signed a similar package deal with Buena Vista International (Screendaily.com, Nov 22),
Fred Kogel, who negotiated the on behalf of the KirchMedia camp, added that the Paramount deal saw "the existing business relations of over 30 years between the Kirch concern and Paramount put on a new footing".
In addition, Kogel and van Betteray said that they have signed long-term film deals with production entity Epsilon and film distributors Senator, Highlight, Constantin and Tobis for the German free-TV rights to over 100 feature films and series for an undisclosed figure.
The acquired titles, which - along with the Paramount package - are exclusively for the channels in the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. They include such films as Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down and the romantic comedy America's Sweethearts - which were both released theatrically by Senator - as well as all of Constantin's 2002 German theatrical output, ranging from Erkan & Stefan Gegen Die Maechte der Finsternis to Knallharte Jungs.
In a separate development, it was reported that ProSiebenSat.1 has acquired a film package deal directly with rival rights trader Herbert Kloiber's Tele Muenchen Group (TMG) for an undisclosed sum.
Shares in MDax-listed ProSiebenSat.1 slipped 4% to Euro 6.10 during trading on Thursday.