Thames sells films rights to Carlton for pounds 8.5m

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The Independent Online
THAMES Television has settled its dispute with the Independent Television Association, after Carlton TV raised its offer for Thames' UK film rights.

Carlton, which will take over the Thames franchise on 1 January, is paying pounds 8.5m for the rights and assuming liabilities of dollars 7.27m ( pounds 4.75m).

Thames said that Carlton had originally offered only pounds 6.8m in total.

The purchase gives Carlton the rights to screen hundreds of movies, including hits like Home Alone, Dances With Wolves, Working Girl and Sleeping with the Enemy.

Under ITV rules - the Network Film Purchase Agreement - Thames was obliged to sell its film rights, which it holds in part- ownership with other ITV companies, to its successor licensee. It had refused to sell because of the low offer from Carlton, and was due to meet the ITVA in court shortly.

Carlton, part of Carlton Communications, is paying pounds 3.5m more than the estimated book value of the film library at 31 December 1992, the Carlton statement said.

Roy Addison, a Thames spokesman, said the settlement would have no impact on the Thames consortium's application for the Channel 5 licence. The Independent Television Commission is due to rule on the bid next week.

The rights were not included in the application.

The liabilities were payments due to the copyright holders of the films, mainly the big Hollywood studios.