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FX goes on movie-buying spree

June 06, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • FX has acquired basic cable TV rights to "Snow White and the Huntsman."
FX has acquired basic cable TV rights to "Snow White and the Huntsman." (Universal )

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest cable network of them all?

For "Snow White and the Huntsman," the answer is FX, which struck a deal with Universal Pictures to acquire the commercial cable rights to last weekend's No. 1 movie.

The purchase is FX's latest in a series of big movie deals. The network also recently acquired Sony Pictures' sequel "Men in Black 3," Paramount Pictures' Sacha Baron Cohen comedy "The Dictator" and Universal's box-office miss "Battleship." Through a long-term distribution agreement with Marvel, FX also has the rights to this summer's mega hit "The Avengers" -- one of the top-grossing movies of all time.

Many commercial cable networks have steered clear of buying movies because by the time they are available for airing they have already been on pay cable channels, DVDs and elsewhere. However, FX still finds feature films serve as a strong promotional platform for original content and can draw solid ratings that justify the price.

The price for the TV rights to a movie is determined by how well it did at the box office. Deals typically run about four years and the license fee is generally 10% to 12% of the U.S. box-office take. Usually, there is a cap of $200 million on any one film in determining the price.

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"Snow White and the Huntsman" is No. 1 at box office

FX's John Landgraf is pushing the network to new highs

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