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DreamWorks renews movie output deal with Showtime

March 14, 2013|By Meg James
  • DreamWorks Studios' movies, including "Lincoln," will continue to have their first TV run on premium channel Showtime under a deal announced March 14, 2013. Pictured: Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis in the 2012 film "Lincoln."
DreamWorks Studios' movies, including "Lincoln," will… (David James / AP )

Premium channel Showtime will keep its pipeline of DreamWorks Studios' films flowing for five more years.

Showtime Networks, a division of CBS Corp., and Walt Disney Studios, which handles theatrical distribution for Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider's DreamWorks Studios, have agreed to lengthen a movie output deal that had been tailored to run through 2015.

The extension, announced Thursday, means that Showtime and its sister outlets, the Movie Channel and Flix, will receive first-run films produced by DreamWorks Studios, which will be released in theaters by Disney through 2018.

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DreamWorks' movies, including "The Help" and "War Horse," have aired on Showtime as part of the existing agreement. Spielberg's critically acclaimed "Lincoln" will debut on Showtime this year.

The extension of the agreement was vital to Showtime because, unlike its main rival, HBO, the premium network has few deals with Hollywood studios.  Showtime has arrangements to run the Weinstein Company movies through 2015 and IFC films through 2016. The cable network has an ongoing relationship with its sister division, CBS Films. 

Showtime in recent years has focused its resources on creating original programs, including "Homeland" and "Shameless."  However, the operation continues to need feature films to help populate its schedule.

Late last year, Disney caused a stir when the studio said it would end its long association with another premium channel, Starz, in 2016.  Instead, Disney structured a more lucrative pact with Netflix, which wanted to enrich its library with Disney's children's movies and other Disney films.

Financial terms for the Showtime-DreamWorks pact were not disclosed.

In other so-called output deals, pay TV providers pay between 10% to 12% of the U.S. box office receipts of each film in exchange for first-run TV rights.

DreamWorks structured its first deal with Showtime three years ago.

"The partnership with Showtime has been a successful one and we look forward to continue working with them to bring our films to their audiences," Jeff Small, president of DreamWorks Studios, said in a statement.


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