MTVN Acquires Exclusive U.S. TV Rights To Michael Jackson's 'This Is It'


MTV Networks has secured the exclusive U.S. TV rights to Michael Jackson's This Is It from Sony Pictures Television.

The film, chronicling the March-through-June rehearsals for the artist's scheduled series of concerts at London's O2 Arena before his death, will become available to MTVN services in 2011. Since its release on Oct. 28, This Is It had grossed $222.6 million, including some $67 million Stateside, in worldwide box office receipts.

Under the six-year deal, terms of which were not disclosed, all domestic channels under the MTVN umbrella, including MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia, will have access to This Is It. So, too, will Viacom's BET Networks, including its new Centric service.

Premiere dates will be announced at a later time, according to MTVN officials

The deal was brokered by Sony Pictures Television and Ben Zurier, executive vice president, program strategy, VH1, VH1 Classic & Palladia for MTV Networks. MTV Networks will also collaborate with Sony Pictures Entertainment in marketing the DVD release of the film in early 2010.

"The film is a true testament to Michael's musical genius, passion and commitment to his craft," said Van Toffler, president of the MTV Networks Music Group, in a statement. "Michael Jackson has always been inextricably tied to our viewers as they witnessed his evolution from a talented performer to a global icon who redefined music. Now, with this film, we can help give his fans a chance to see his final performance."