BusinessWeek’s Los Angeles Bureau Chief Ron Grover reports:
In perhaps Hollywood’s worst kept secret, Steven Spielberg’s newly created studio is signing a distribution arrangement with NBC Universal to distribute as many as six films a year. Spielberg, along with producing partner Stacey Snider, left its three-year deal with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures two weeks back. With more than $500 million in financing from Indian media conglomerate Reliance, the Spielberg crew raised $750 million to launch a new studio that would be called Dreamworks. (Spielberg licenses the name from Dreamworks Animation, a separate company, and had been using the name while at Paramount.)
Universal had long been considered the likely winner in the race to land the distribution arrangement for films from the new studio, in large part because Spielberg enjoys a healthy relationship with the studio and has housed his production unit there for more than 30 years.
Still, Spielberg’s team had negotiated with Fox as well until recently.