Spanish broadcaster Telecinco has signed a ground-breaking distribution deal with Buena Vista International Spain (BVIS), which gives the expanding channel theatrical and video outlets for its independently acquired films.

The deal follows Telecinco's landmark entry into all-rights acquisitions this May with the signing of a five-year, 10-picture pact with US indie producer Joseph Singer (Screendaily, May 24). The broadcaster followed the Singer deal last month with an output agreement with Canadian giant Alliance Atlantis Communications.

Under the terms of the deal, Buena Vista will release an average of six to eight "independent American feature films" supplied by Telecinco annually while Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) will take video rights. The deal was negotiated by BVIS general director Javier Vasallo, BVHE general director Javier Martinez and Telecinco general director Mikel Lejarza.

Telecinco - backed by Grupo Correo, Grupo Planeta, Italy's Mediaset and Germany's Kirch - is riding high on profits which last year reached Euros110.5m, double the previous year's results.

In accordance with a law requiring channels to invest 5% of their gross annual earnings in local and European productions, Telecinco has also moved forcefully into feature film production this year. It is backing a handful of local feature films including the much-anticipated Gitano, starring Joaquin Cortes and Laetitia Casta, and Salma Hayek vehicle La Gran Vida.