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Edited press release follows:
LIONSGATE AND ALIBABA GROUP FORM STRATEGIC COLLABORATION TO OFFER LIONSGATE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD SERVICE IN CHINA
HANGZHOU, China and SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 14, 2014 — Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Alibaba Group (“Alibaba”), a world leading online and mobile commerce company, have joined forces to launch Lionsgate Entertainment World (LGEW), a subscription streaming service for mainland China that will be available exclusively through Alibaba’s latest generation of set-top box, the two companies announced today. The Lionsgate Entertainment World (LGEW) service will provide users of the Alibaba platform with instant access to such Hollywood blockbusters as the first installment of the Divergent franchise, which has already grossed nearly US$300 million worldwide, as well as several titles from the Twilight Saga franchise, which has generated more than US$3.3 billion at the global box office.
Lionsgate television series such as The Royals, which is expected to debut early next year on E!,Nashville, entering its third season on ABC, and the recent miniseries Rosemary’s Baby for NBC will all receive their Chinese premieres on the Alibaba platform and will be accompanied by iconic hit series such as four-time Emmy Award winner Mad Men (AMC) and the critically-acclaimed comedy Weeds (Showtime). The service’s portfolio of content will be continuously expanded after launch to include such additional titles as the global blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the eagerly-anticipated next installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with Alibaba, a world-class brand that is well known and respected among consumers throughout China,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “Alibaba is the kind of entrepreneurial company with whom we like to be in business, and the launch of our streaming service in China underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to digital platforms around the world.”
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Lionsgate to offer this new content streaming service and deliver high quality, entertaining and relevant TV shows and movies to our users,” said Patrick Liu, president of Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment business unit. “We are committed to expanding our ecosystem where our users can meet, work and live, and this cooperation signals our ongoing commitment to advance our vision of making digital media entertainment available to our customers anywhere, anytime.”
In addition to providing Alibaba’s consumers with a broad and deep Lionsgate portfolio of curated hit film and TV content at launch, the new service will enable Alibaba subscribers to enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, features and other premium content not available anywhere else in China along with access to VIP membership benefits such as screening invitations and special merchandise. The collaboration gives Lionsgate increased access to the vast mainland Chinese market, one of the largest and fastest-growing territories in the world for film and TV content. David U. Lee, founder and president of Leeding Media and a leading architect of U.S./Chinese media collaborations, helped orchestrate the agreement.
“The Lionsgate Entertainment World service will be distinguished not only by the breadth and depth of our content portfolio but our commitment to provide Chinese consumers with first run films, television shows and behind-the-scenes experiences that aren’t available anywhere else in China,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer and Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer Brian Goldsmith. “The combination of Alibaba’s tremendous knowledge of the Chinese market and Lionsgate’s content leadership provide LGEW with unique competitive advantages, and we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Alibaba team and our friend David U. Lee.”
The Lionsgate Entertainment World service will stream in high quality resolution (up to full HD) and will offer content recommendations to Chinese viewers based on extensive curation and state-of-the-art technology. The service is expected to launch in August, 2014.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has over 30 television shows on more than 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions’ Mud and Pantelion Films’ breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
ABOUT ALIBABA GROUP
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group also provides payment and escrow services on its marketplaces through its association with Alipay (www.alipay.com), a related company of Alibaba Group.
Through China Smart Logistics, a 48%-owned affiliate, Alibaba Group operates a central logistics information system that connects a network of express delivery companies in China.