Warner Brothers International Television Distribution has concluded a landmark deal with three Russian television networks which have agreed to the joint purchase of a package of the studio's top films.

The deal was concluded by Russian channels NTV, CTC and Russia (RTR) who will take turns airing the package which includes the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings franchises and other top recent releases. The package also includes about 20 B-movies and a number of TV series from the Warner Bros. Library.

The deal is one more sign of the increasing importance of the Russian market for film and television distributors.

The Russian economy is the fastest growing economy in the G8 with an increase of 7.2 percent GDP so far this year. More importantly the average spending power per person has increased by 10 percent fueling growth of both television advertising and the theatrical box office.

The complex multi-year deal splits the broadcast window between the three broadcasters. NTV has licenses to Blade 2 and Ocean's Eleven as well as older films such as Eraser. RTR has first rights to Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings and CTC has the second-run broadcast rights followed by NTV.