Spain's national credit institute (ICO) has signed an agreement with digital satellite platform Via Digital and the Spanish producers federation (FAPAE) whereby ICO will make available up to $18m worth of credits for film and TV product to which the Telefonica-backed Via acquires rights.

According to the terms of the agreement, which runs through 2002, ICO and Via commit to jointly funding film and TV projects from producers associated with FAPAE (which includes nearly all producers in Spain). Via's acquisition of pay-TV - or other - rights to films will be matched by cash credits from ICO totalling a global $18m (PTS3,400m).

Producers will receive the credits as soon as they close a deal with Via, thereby assuring cash up front before shooting begins. Via, in turn, should benefit from a first look at forthcoming product.

Via's investment forms part of the platform's previous commitment to FAPAE, signed in 1998, to earmark close to $50m (PTS9,000m) for Spanish film and TV productions and co-productions over four years.