Turner Broadcasting is breaking new VOD ground with a five picture deal they recently signed with Sony.

In a story from Variety, the company has bought a package of five movies from Sony that "includes exclusive video-on-demand rights to The Pink Panther and upcoming Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

Turner Broadcasting is "actively pursuing on-demand rights for both original and acquired programming." The company cites "the growing importance of nonlinear platforms to TV networks" as being an important reason for this deal

Last summer, TNT pulled off a similar deal with NBC for the Video On Demand rights of Las Vegas: Season Two, "paying $450,000 for the off-net episodes/VOD package (Daily Variety, June 22)." Aside from this deal, the big studios have not had on-demand rights be a part of sales agreements.

The Turner deal with Sony includes "exclusive, four-year rights to The Pink Panther, Talladega, RV, Fun With Dick and Jane and upcoming Steven Spielberg/Robert Zemekis CGI pic Monster House." Turner will have a six-month window for the films following their network premiere. The Pink Panther, Talladega Nights, RV, Fun With Dick and Jane will be available in 2008, and Monster House in 2009.

Sony will still have "digital sell-through rights" to these movies, so they will be able to offer the titles for rental or sale on the Internet and other means of digital delivery.

Evan Jacobs