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Fox TV, ProSiebenSat.1 Extend Licensing Agreement (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/23/2017 Ed Meza
© Provided by Variety

ProSiebenSat.1 and 20th Century Fox Television Distribution have extended a licensing agreement that provides the German broadcasting group with major feature films and TV series, including blockbusters “Alien: Covenant” and “Logan.”

While the broadcasting rights apply to ProSiebenSat.1’s free TV stations in Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland, the deal also includes selected exclusive rights for the group’s pay-TV and subscription video-on-demand platforms.

Titles covered by the agreement include such recent box office hits as “Deadpool,” “The Martian” and “Ice Age: Collision Course,” as well as series “The Gifted,” “The Mick” and the critically acclaimed “This Is Us.” The broadcasting group said 20th Century Fox Television’s TV series would strengthen the group’s programming supply in the long term.

“Be it big-budget blockbusters or strong series, the studio delivers exactly the kind of television our viewers want to see,” said Ruediger Boess, ProSiebenSat.1’s executive vice president of group programming acquisitions. “We always need productions from abroad, and we try to have a mix of U.S. and German series.”

With regard to series, Boess noted that ProSiebenSat.1’s channels had adapted to the changing viewing habits of its audiences. “The number of possibilities to watch series has grown as has the overall number of series, which has doubled in the past few years,” he said. “We only select those shows that best fit with our channels.”

Among ProSiebenSat.1’s flagship channels, ProSieben mainly caters to the young male demographic with its focus on action, sci-fi, and superhero series and sitcoms, while Sat.1 showcases family-friendly U.S. series with broad appeal and series that attract female viewers.

Boess described the agreement as a “win-win” for both partners, stressing that the deal also allows the broadcasting group to offer Fox content on all platforms. That’s particularly vital for a channel like ProSieben, which targets primarily younger viewers. Boess said that the share of viewers who watch scheduled broadcasts versus those who use streaming catch-up services is nearly 50-50.

“We have the best and youngest audience in the German market,” he said, pointing out that while younger viewers in particular are the most difficult to reach, they are also very loyal if you have the right content.

“The Simpsons” (pictured) remains ProSieben’s most watched Fox show. The channel also currently airs “Empire,” but that series has failed to attract a large following. Boess has high hopes for “This Is Us,” which has been a big hit for NBC stateside and premieres on ProSieben on Wednesday.

The new agreement also gives ProSiebenSat.1 continued access to Fox’s vast library, which boasts such titles as “Titanic,” “Speed,” “Independence Day,” “Home Alone” and “The Devil Wears Prada.”

ProSiebenSat.1 has long-term agreements with nearly all major Hollywood studios as well as high-profile domestic and international entertainment companies, including Warner Bros., Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS, Paramount, Studiocanal and Constantin Film.

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