TURNER NETWORK DEAL
Copyright 2002 www.variety.com
[ March 3rd 2002 ]
has sold Turner Broadcasting the exclusive network
window to four of its recent theatricals: Rat
Race, Domestic Disturbance, Zoolander and Hardball.
Turner will pony up about 26 million for a five-year
license term to the four titles, which comes to
about 14% of the four's total domestic gross.
a bounteous license fee in such a soft market
for movies. In exchange, Par has agreed to let
Turner carve out a window on Rat Race and Zoolander
within the five-year term for Comedy Central,
and to place some primetime runs of each of the
four on Turner sister net the WB.
deal strengthens the perception that the WB has
begun to move away from its previous position
of not including movies in its programming strategy.
The WB joined with Turner to snare the rights
to all three Lord of the Rings movies from New
Line, which will cost the networks about $160
million in license fees.
Central won't have to wait until the fourth year
of a five-year contract to get Rat Race and Zoolander:
Turner plans to open a two-year window for the
net right in the middle of the contract, after
which the movies will return for further plays
on TBS and TNT. Spokespeople for Paramount and
Turner confirmed the movie deal without commenting
on the terms.
kinds of shared windows among multiple networks
have become the norm as movie companies seek to
keep their prices high at a time when the broadcast
nets are buying fewer theatricals because their
movie ratings keep diminishing.
time the movies get to the network window - about
33 months after their debut in the multiplexes
- each title has journeyed on a videocassette
and DVD odyssey in the video store, after which
it wends its way to pay-per-view and pay TV. Broadcasters
say all of these pre-network windows end up eroding
viewer interest in the movies almost three years
unlike broadcasters, cable nets can schedule multiple
runs of the pics in the first few weeks of their
availability, generating a blitzkrieg of publicity
to make viewers aware that they can still catch
one of the movies even if they miss the first
and Turner have done a lot of movie business in
recent years. Turner has bought shared windows
to Mission: Impossible 2, What Women Want and
the studio's last major package, which included
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Along Came a Spider,
Save the Last Dance and Enemy at the Gates.