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Canal Plus and Warner Bros. Ink Exclusive French Pay TV Deal

Canal Plus subscribers will get Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit," Ben Affleck's "Argo" and Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" from 2013.

PARIS -- Warner Bros. Entertainment France has inked an exclusive pay TV deal with French giant Canal Plus for the studio's output from September 2013.

The deal will give Canal Plus subscribers access to Warner Bros.' new releases and catalog titles on IP TV, tablet computers, smartphones and game consoles.

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It covers all pay-for channels of the Canal Plus group -- flag bearer Canal+, CINE+, Comedie+ and Jimmy -- and their respective catch-up TV services.

French legislation guarantees an exclusive window of distribution for pay TV networks, 10 months after the theatrical release date for movies.

Canal Plus deputy general director Rodolphe Belmer said the deal will contribute to building the largest and "most attractive offer" on French TV.

"We are proud to give our subscribers access to the films of one of the most prestigious American studios," he said.

Warner Bros. International Television president Jeffrey Schlesinger said: "Canal Plus has always had a deep appreciation of Warner's productions and successful cinematographic legacy. We are delighted with our return to Canal Plus in 2013."

Warner Bros. will benefit from premium access to Canal Plus' nearly 13 million subscribers for such upcoming releases as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: trilogy, Ben Affleck's Argo, Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and the third installment of The Hangover.

The deal marks a change for Warner Bros.' output carriage deal in France.

In 2008, as France Telecom launched the pay TV channels Orange Cinema Series (OCS), the telecommunications giant corralled the exclusive contract with Warner Bros. from Canal Plus. But France Telecom largely has withdrawn from the pay TV market since, and Canal Plus has won the partnership back from Orange.