Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) announced today it has closed a deal to acquire Dutch Pay TV group Film1 from John Malone’s Liberty Global. Under the deal, which still needs to get regulatory approval, SPT will fully own and operate the five Pay TV channels under the Film1 umbrella along with its Film1 Go service.
Film1 offers both local language movies as well as titles from Dreamworks, Fox, Paramount, MGM and Warners. All five Film1 channels will continue to be carried on Liberty Global’s Ziggo and UPC cable tv platforms in the Netherlands.
“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 Kate Marsh, SPT’s executive vice president, Networks, Western Europe. “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.”
“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” said Niall Curran, president of Liberty Global’s media investments group. “We are pleased that Film1 will be in good hands under Sony’s ownership”.
Once the sale is complete, the Film1 business will report to Marsh, expanding Sony’s European TV footprint includes Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland. Sony has invested heavily in UK production companies, including Victory Television, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River Productions, Left Bank Pictures and the recently announced joint venture with Karl Warner, Electric Ray. Sony also launched Belfast-based Stellify Media in 2014 to tap into Northern Ireland’s burgeoning TV production sector.
Sony Pictures Television’s international networks portfolio includes 148 channel feeds, which are available in 178 countries reaching more than 1.28 billion cumulative households worldwide.