Antena 3, Globomedia ink prod'n pact

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MADRID -- Spanish free-to-air television channel Antena 3 has inked a landmark agreement, signing a three-year production deal with the country's leading TV production company, Globomedia.

The deal, announced Wednesday, represents a key step for Globomedia following parent company Grupo Arbol's launch of rival Spanish broadcaster La Sexta.

Most Spanish broadcasters expressed reticence at openly discussing programming and purchases with Globomedia following La Sexta's launch last year, fearing their strategies would be shared with the opposition.

Under the new deal, Globomedia has guaranteed a minimum number of fiction series and other forms of entertainment programming, while assigning a group of its creative talent to designing product exclusively for Antena 3.

"Antena 3, with this accord, assures itself of a minimum level of production from one of the best content providers in the sector on the Spanish and European level," the broadcaster said in a statement.

Globomedia is Spain's leading television producer and created some of Antena 3's most successful programs, including such dramas as "Un Paso Adelante," "Companeros" and "Policias."

The deal comes on the heels of a year marked by weak domestic series, with little new product capturing audiences and broadcasters relying on aging series or new programs from the U.S.

Commercial channel Telecinco's "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: New York" regularly make the top 10 and private channel Cuatro's airing of the first season of "House" has been hugely successful in Spain.

Also Wednesday, Antena 3 launched Spain's first television-linked Web site, designed to offer videos the channel receives from its audience for it various programs.

The Web site, www.tuclip.com, will post all of the videos used on Antena 3 as well as the group's other digital and international channels, and will allow users to post their own videos as well.
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