Warner Bros., NBC Universal Strike Deals With Italy's Mediaset Premium

Fifty Shades of Grey Valentine's Day Trailer - H 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey Valentine's Day Trailer - H 2015

Mediaset adds further digital rights to premium content ahead of Netflix Italy's launch.

The Mediaset Group has reached multiyear agreements with Warner Bros. and NBC Universal that will guarantee the Italian TV network top international films and TV series that will be available for years to come on its Mediaset Premium platform.

On the heels of Netflix’s announcement of coming to Italy, this new deal will grant Mediaset important digital rights extending across multiple platforms, including free-to-air TV, pay TV (including satellite), advertising-supported on-demand and online.

“Mediaset puts itself increasingly at the center of international interests related to the convergence between video content and broadband Internet,” said Franco Ricci, CEO of Mediaset Premium.

Mediaset Premium is pulling out all the punches to compete with Sky Italia as Italians decide where to spend their entertainment money. Sky Italia is the leader by a long shot, with 4.75 million subscribers. Mediaset Premium has 1.77 million, and is eager to reach 2 million by the end of the year.

Mediaset Premium has also targeted soccer fans across Italy by paying hefty prices for access to all of the matches of the top eight Serie A teams and exclusive broadcast of the Champions League over the next three years.

Following the new content deals, a number of top Warner Bros. titles will have their exclusive TV premieres on Mediaset channels, including films American Sniper and Interstellar, as well as film franchises including Harry Potter, Batman and Ocean’s Eleven.

Warner Bros. TV series in the new agreement include The Big Bang TheoryPerson of Interest and The Mentalist. The deal also covers new Warner Bros. series planned in the coming years.

NBCUniversal films, including Fifty Shades of Grey and Fast & Furious 7, the No. 1 and No. 3 films, respectively, so far this year in Italy, will have their Italian TV premieres on Mediaset channels. American Sniper is the No. 2 film of the year thus far.

The deal also includes NBCUniversal franchises including Despicable Me, The Bourne Ultimatum and Jurassic Park. TV series include Suits, House and Law & Order, as well as future NBC series.