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Chinese Internet giant Tencent announced Friday it has acquired the online rights to the complete James Bond franchise from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
While the deal is not exclusive, Tencent is the first to get the rights and so will be the only Internet company in the country offering 007 titles to China’s vast online user community for now.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
In a parallel announcement, Tencent also unveiled an agreement with Paramount Pictures to be the exclusive TVOD (transactional video on demand) and SVOD (subscription video on demand) distributor in China for the studio’s new theatrical releases starting in April. Under the deal, Tencent will have exclusive SVOD and TVOD rights in mainland China for upcoming Paramount feature films for 12 months following their theatrical releases there.
Tencent has emerged as one of the most aggressive buyers of online rights to prestige Hollywood titles. In September, Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox partnered with the company to make the entire Star Wars saga available to Chinese viewers online.
As with Star Wars, Daniel Craig’s latest Bond film, Spectre, should get a boost from the added exposure in China, the world’s second-largest film market. The film opens there Nov. 13, one week after its U.S. rollout.
The Bond films — spanning Dr. No to Skyfall — will be made available by Tencent on a TVOD (transactional video on demand) and SVOD (subscription video on demand) basis, via the company’s various online channels, including v.qq.com, film.qq.com and the Tencent Video app.
As it did with for Star Wars, Tencent is creating a dedicated James Bond online hub, offering users additional in-depth documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Bond stars past and present. Spectre later will be included in the deal.
Upcoming films on Paramount’s slate that will be covered under the second Tencent deal are Star Trek Beyond (2016); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise.
“This deal will allow our content to reach a wide audience through Tencent’s massive user base while ensuring it is completely protected,” said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures.
In March, THR inked a content partnership with Tencent.
Nov. 6, 7 a.m. Updated with a Tencent clarification that the firm is the only Internet company currently offering the James Bond franchise in China, but the deal is not exclusive.
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