BSkyB close to snagging 'Mad Men'

$5-10 million deal would give satcaster life-of-series rights

LONDON -- BSkyB is close to a deal to snatch "Mad Men" from the BBC in a deal worth between $5-10 million that would give the News Corp.-owned satcaster life-of-series rights to the glossy series, people close to the deal confirmed Thursday.

The move underlines Sky's increasing focus on locking in long-term exclusive access to blue-chip U.S. fare, and comes just months after it signed a £150 million deal with HBO for rights to upcoming new series as well as the entirety of the HBO archive.

The BBC, which is currently airing Season 4 of the Madison Avenue-based drama, is understood to have pulled out of the bidding on price reasons. Earlier this summer director general Mark Thompson said the pubcaster was cutting its acquisitions budget by 25%.

The deal will be announced by BSkyB and Lionsgate "within hours," a person close to the talks said.

"They are just finalizing deal points," the person said.
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