Mediaset grabs Gori library

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ROME -- Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Thursday agreed to pay €5.9 million ($7.8 million) for rights to the 138 films that make up the archives of beleaguered producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori. The rights expire at the end of 2011.

Among the films that will now be in Mediaset's stable are Oscar winners "Mediterraneo" and "La Vita e' Bella" (Life is Beautiful), along with the Italian rights to Hollywood productions "Terminator II," "The English Patient" and "Carlito's Way."

Cecchi Gori announced last October that it would sell rights to its film archive as a way to raise cash to fund the company's reorganization effort. The amount Mediaset paid for the rights is above the minimum price of €4.5 million ($5.9 million).

Telecom Italia, which owns the La 7 network, was the other main bidder in the auction.

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