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Sky agrees new multi-year movies deal with Warner Bros

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Sky has today announced a major, multi-year content deal with Warner Bros that gives the satellite broadcaster first rights on new movies from the studio on pay TV and online, including The Dark Knight Rises.

The Competition Commission recently cleared Sky over its previous exclusive pay TV movie deals with all six major Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr in 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows'
The Dark Knight Rises


Despite accusations that Sky had a 'stranglehold' over pay TV movies in the UK, the regulator judged that the arrival of online competitors such as Netflix and LoveFilm had changed the market, although it noted that the entire industry was in need of review.

But after getting its clearance, Sky has forged ahead with agreeing a new deal with Warner Bros that will give it first subscription pay TV rights to new films from the studio on Sky Movies channels in the UK and Ireland. This includes the pay TV premiere of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, which racked up a record £56m at the box office.

Alongside pay TV, Sky will also get subscription video on-demand rights and pay-per-view rights to the movies, which can be marketed on platforms such as Sky Movies Box Office, the Sky Store on Sky+ set top boxes and the NOW TV internet-delivered TV service.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sky Movies customers in the UK & Ireland across will get exclusive access to Warner Bros new releases around six months after they have ended their run in cinemas, and they will remain exclusively available on the service for more than a year.

Alongside The Dark Knight Rises, the deal includes new movies such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Dark Shadows and Wrath of the Titans, as well future releases including Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III and The Great Gatsby.

Superman: Man of Steel logo
'The Great Gatsby' still


Customers will also get exclusive access to a range of classic titles from Warner Bros, including all the Batman movies, The Matrix franchise, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, all the Superman movies and Lethal Weapon 1, 2 and 3.

The films will be available on the 11 dedicated Sky Movies channels (including on Virgin Media, UPC and TalkTalk) and the Sky Go multiplatform TV service, along with offered to customers of the Sky Movies monthly pass on NOW TV.

Sky Movies director Ian Lewis said that he was "delighted" to renew the partnership with Warner Bros.

"This new deal will give Sky Movies customers exclusive access to the full range of Warner Bros' films, including recent hits like The Dark Knight Rises and classic titles such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, reflecting our focus on offering the biggest choice of the best films," he said.

"By making the films available on demand and on our multiplatform service Sky Go, Sky is strengthening the customer experience, offering customers greater value and flexibility.

"The deal also sees us extend our reach by offering the films on NOW TV and Sky Store, giving more people new ways to enjoy our fantastic content."


Warner Bros president of International television distribution Jeffrey R. Schlesinger said that Sky was selected to continue as the firm's UK and Ireland pay TV distribution partner despite the "increasingly competitive" market.

"We are pleased to extend our association with Sky in the UK and Ireland. In an increasingly competitive environment for high quality features, we have once again selected Sky as the best home for our films in the first pay window," he said.

"Sky Movies subscribers can look forward to seeing Warner Bros' new films created by some of Hollywood's most talented directors and stars on Sky's platform in more compelling and convenient ways."

Warner Bros UK and Ireland president and managing director Josh Berger added: "As the UK television and digital landscape continues to evolve, we're thrilled to be partnering with Sky to deliver our market-leading motion picture slate to millions of subscribers across multiple platforms.

"This innovative and ambitious deal presents consumers with myriad ways to enjoy our films, many of which will have been produced here in the UK, and we look forward to working with Sky as it continues to invest in great content."

Sky's deal with Warner Bros will now mostly likely renew the efforts of its rivals to secure similar agreements with the other major studios.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings recently said that his movie streaming service would be "really aggressive" with its bids for content from the major film players, and he was "incredibly confident" that it could secure some of the rights ahead of Sky.

With more than 22m members worldwide including 1m in the UK, Netflix has already reached a deal with MGM which will see Peter Jackson's new Hobbit movies come to the service within one year after their theatrical release.

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