MGM Worldwide Television Distribution has concluded two major deals on its James Bond franchise. Germany's RTL Television has signed an exclusive licensing agreement for German free-TV rights to the next Bond movie Die Another Day which teams Pierce Brosnan with Halle Berry, as well as broadcast rights to four classic 007 films Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball and Goldfinger.
Meanwhile three Viacom US networks The New TNN: The National Network, CBS and UPN have teamed to license exclusive US TV rights to 15 classic Bond films from Oct 2002 through most of 2004. It is the first time that the three Viacom companies have acquired programming in a single negotiation. The films will begin broadcasting on TNN in October after the films complete their current runs on ABC.
For RTL, the deal announced by Constantin Lange, general secretary, RTL, and Jim Griffiths, president of MGM Worldwide TV Distribution, at MIP-TV in Cannes marks the first time the network has premiered a Bond film. Die Another Day opens in the US on Nov 22, 2002.
The Viacom deal for the US follows a licensing deal with CBS for more recent 007 pictures Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. The movies in the deal are: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, Never Say Never Again and The Living Daylights. The deal was announced by Barbara Zaneri, senior vice president, program planning and acquisitions for The New TNN and Jim Packer, executive vice president - sales, North America, for MGM Worldwide Television Distribution.