BSkyB strikes important deal with Universal, beating its UK competitors
Pay-TV giant BSkyB yesterday signed a wide-ranging deal with Universal for exclusive rights to movies like The Bourne Legacy and Anna Karenina.
This deal means the expansion of an existing multi-year deal with NBC Universal for the rights of Universal Pictures in the UK and Ireland, which would beat competition from rivals such as Netfix and Amazon’s LoveFilm for the years to come.
BSkyB will now have exclusive first pay-TV rights to new and archive films including classics like: Les Miserables, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and American Pie.
This is the second big agreement the satellite broadcaster has made since August. Yesterday’s deal follows September’s agreement with Warner Bros. for the rights to films including The Dark Knight Rises.
Using its negotiating might, Sky has also managed to secure the exclusive UK right to show any of the Harry Potter films over Christmas.
The movies deal will be available to BskyB customers through all Sky services: on-demand, on mobile service Sky Go, and also on the recently launched on-line-only service, Now TV.
Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies said: “The combination of NBCU’s hit movies with Sky’s innovation will give customers an unrivalled in-home movies experience. Whether it’s The Bourne Legacy on demand, Despicable Me in 3D or Ted on the go, Sky Movies customers will enjoy the biggest and best selection of movies on their terms – and at least a year ahead of any other subscription service.”
Last May the Competition Commission decided that BskyB’s deals with several Hollywood studios, including Disney, Paramount and 20th Century Fox, were anti-competitive and meant to produce a monopoly.
However, in August the competition regulator completely changed its view, allowing BSkyB to strike new agreements with “the big six”.