Sky and NBC Universal extend content deal with exclusive movie rental window

Sky's war against its VOD rivals could be won before a single shot is fired in anger, thanks to the company's practice of signing exclusive contracts with major Hollywood players. Today, it's extended its contract with NBC Universal, giving Sky exclusive distribution rights to the studio's movies and access to Universal Network's TV offerings such as E!, Movies24, SyFy and Universal UK. When new films like Snow White and the Huntsmen, Les Misérables and The Bourne Legacy leave cinemas, Sky Movies (and Now TV) customers will have an exclusive rental window before they're available to everyone else, as well as full access to a back-catalog that contains childhood favorites like Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. As we've mentioned before, such deals are great news if you're a Sky customer, and not if you're not.

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Sky Extends Content Agreements with NBCUniversal

Acquires Rights to NBCU Content and Extends Channel Carriage in the UK

6th November 2012 - Sky has entered a new multi-year licensing agreement with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution for the exclusive television rights in the UK and Ireland to current, upcoming and library feature films from NBCUniversal for its Sky Movies service. All movies will be made available to Sky customers on-demand, on Sky Go, as well as in High Definition (HD) and 3D where available. In addition, Sky has entered a separate agreement with Universal Networks International (UNI) to extend the availability of UNI's television channels on Sky's subscription TV packages.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Sky Movies customers will have an exclusive window of subscription access to NBCUniversal titles after they have ended their run in UK cinemas. As a result, Sky Movies will be the first subscription service in the UK and Ireland to screen Snow White & the Huntsman, Battleship, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, ParaNorman and Savages. Upcoming releases that are also part of the agreement include Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, The Man With The Iron Fists, Despicable Me 2 and About Time.

Sky customers will also get exclusive subscription access to classic NBCUniversal titles including Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and the American Pie series of films, as well as iconic titles such as Mamma Mia, Gladiator and Scarface.

All of the movies will be available via 11 dedicated Sky Movies channels, Sky's comprehensive TV on-demand service and Sky Go, the award-winning multiplatform TV service. The full range of titles included in the licensing agreement will also be available to NOW TV customers. NOW TV offers easy and flexible access to Sky Movies across PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, YouView, Xbox and selected Android smartphones, with films available for instant streaming. Customers who subscribe to Sky Movies via Virgin Media, UPC and TalkTalk will also be able to enjoy the full range of subscription films from the NBCUniversal collection.

The new channel carriage agreement will enable Sky customers to enjoy popular programming across NBCU's portfolio of channels on Sky, including shows such as Rookie Blue, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case on Universal Channel; Keeping up with the Kardashians, Fashion Police and Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television; and Continuum, Warehouse 13 and Haven on Syfy. Other channels included in the carriage agreement include The Style Network and Movies 24. Sky Media, Sky's advertising and sponsorship sales house, will continue to represent NBCU's channels.

Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies comments: "We are delighted to be able to announce an extension of our long-standing relationship with NBCUniversal. The combination of NBCU's hit movies with Sky's innovation will give customers an unrivalled in-home movies experience. Whether it's The Bourne Legacy on demand, Despicable Me in 3D, or Ted on the go, Sky Movies customers will enjoy the biggest and best selection of movies on their terms - and at least a year ahead of any other subscription service."

Jon Simkin, Sky's Director of Channels and Operations, adds: "With a growing portfolio of popular shows from established pay TV brands including Universal Channel, E! Entertainment and Syfy, we are investing in more choice and quality for customers. At the same time, we are helping NBCU reach advertisers and sponsors through the on-going relationship with Sky Media."

Belinda Menendez, President, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution and Universal Networks International, adds: "We are very proud of the NBCUniversal portfolio of titles and channels represented by these two separate agreements. Sky customers will now have access to hit films such as Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bourne Legacy and Ted, in addition to a broad range of high-caliber programming on our bouquet of branded channels."