Sony swoops for Liberty premium movie service Film1

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 28 March 2015

In a further divestment of its content assets, cable giant Liberty Global has reached an agreement with Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) to sell its Film1 group in the Netherlands.

Pending regulatory approval, the deal will see SPT will fully own and operate the five premium pay-TV channels under the Film1 umbrella including Film1 Premiere, Film1 Action, Film1 Comedy & Kids, Film1 Spotlight and Film1 Sundance. These feature premium movies from Dreamworks, FOX, Paramount, MGM and Warner Bros. and are also home to independent films. All five Film1 channels will continue to be carried on Liberty Global's Ziggo and UPC cable TV platforms in the Netherlands. The deal also encompasses the Film1 Go service available to all Film1 channel subscribers on PCs, tablets and smartphones.

film1Once the sale is complete, the Film1 business will report to Kate Marsh, SPT's executive vice president, Networks, Western Europe, expanding Sony Pictures Television Networks' Western Europe footprint that also includes Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland. Last year SPT acquired CSC Media, making SPT the No. 5 cable/satellite/multichannel player in the UK market in commercial ad views. Its international networks portfolio includes 148 channel feeds, which are available in 178 countries reaching more than 1.28 billion cumulative households worldwide.

"The acquisition of Film1 marks a key move into the Dutch market and underlines our continued commitment to grow our highly successful and diverse suite of channels across Europe," said Marsh. "Film1 complements and expands our successful Networks portfolio and we are looking forward to working with all our partners to continue to build on the success of the Film1 proposition."

Added Niall Curran, president of Liberty Global's media investments group: "When approaching the sale of Film1 as part of the group's acquisition of Ziggo, we wanted to ensure the new owner would be focused on building on a strong portfolio of channels...We are pleased that Film1 will be in good hands under Sony's ownership."