Channel 5 has secured additional programme funds to pay for the movie
acquisition spree it kicked off this week with a multi-film deal with
Twentieth Century Fox.
The dollars 40 million Fox deal was negotiated by Channel 5’s controller
of programme planning and acquisition, David Bergg, and will allow the
fledgling broadcaster first stab at five of the nine biggest films in
the Fox movie library.
The BBC, which was brought in as a partner on the deal, picked up the
remaining four films. These blockbusters will then switch channels for a
Overall, the deal takes in a total of 68 films, with 37 shown first on
the Channel 5 and 22 given their terrestrial debut on BBC.
Channel 5 had come under pressure to deliver on its proposals for a
nightly weekday movie at 9pm. Last month, the channel paid pounds 6.4
million for 144 films from Columbia Tri-Star, but agencies were
sceptical that a portfolio of films led by Money Train and Basic
Instinct would be good enough to anchor the crucial night-time schedule.
A deputation led by Channel 5’s director of programmes, Dawn Airey, and
advertising director, Nick Milligan, has approached the board for more
funds, arguing that the additional programme cost would be paid for by
increased advertising revenues and sponsorship over the five-year period
covered by the film deal.
Channel 5 will reveal the exact number of domestic videos it has retuned
next week. The figures will be updated monthly until the station
launches in March.