MGM/UA in $100-Million Licensing Deal With British

Times Staff Writer

The new managers of MGM/UA Communications announced a $100-million licensing agreement Thursday for use of selected current, future and past theatrical films and television product by two major British broadcasters.

They are British Broadcasting Corp. and British Satellite Broadcasting.

Although the revenue will be generated over a six-year period, a significant advance payment is involved, according to Trevor Fetter, MGM/UA senior vice president. He declined to specify the amount.

Trevor said nearly 200 films are in the package, including two UA films that are to be released soon, “Rain Man” and “Child’s Play,” as well as current hit “A Fish Called Wanda” and last year’s “Baby Boom.”


Fetter is part of a triumvirate from Merrill Lynch Capital Markets’ Los Angeles office installed as top officers of MGM/UA this week.

Jeffrey C. Barbakow, new new chairman, president and chief executive, said the simultaneous licensing of the same product attests to the strength of the firm’s film library, whose potential “is only beginning to be tapped.”

In addition to its 1,000-title UA library, the company said it controls worldwide home video and foreign pay-TV rights to the MGM library bought by Turner Broadcasting System in 1985.