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Seven scoops NBC Universal deal ahead of Ten, Nine

Australian broadcaster Network Seven has won the bidding war for an exclusive output deal with NBC Universal International Distribution, beating out rival broadcasters Nine and Ten.

Previously, the NBC Universal programming catalogue had been shared between Seven and Ten, harking back to the days before the creation of NBC Universal in 2004, which was formed by the merger of GE’s NBC and Vivendi’s Universal Entertainment.

Seven had an arrangement with NBC, while Ten previously had an ouput deal with Universal and both were keen to make the deal, which expired this year, exclusive.

Nine, which has not previously had a deal with the studio, also signalled its interest in the arrangement. Director of programming Michael Healy told TBIvision earlier this year that it would consider a bid for the catalogue.

Of this year’s crop of new series, Seven picked up The Bionic Women, while Ten acquired cop thriller Life, which has already received an order for a full season.   

The output deal, which covers series such as Heroes, Bionic Woman, 30 Rock and Lipstick Jungle as well as movies and news programming, will be a further boost for Seven, which has had a bumper year, moving well ahead of Nine in the ratings.

It will also help Seven make up for the loss of the 20th Century Fox International Television output deal to Ten last year.