Lionsgate is looking to give Starz a bigger movie streaming bundle by signing a multiyear theatrical output agreement with its premium subscription platform for Lionsgate and Summit label films.
As part of the deal, Starz will get an exclusive first window for Lionsgate label films when the current distribution agreement with Hulu expires at the end of 2021. And Summit label films will land on Starz when the current deal with HBO through to the end of 2022 expires.
The multi-year deal will see movie titles and franchises like John Wick, Borderlands, White Bird: A Wonder Story and Kelly Fremon Craig’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret head to Starz. It also comes as Lionsgate continues to combine its studio and Starz platform businesses by sending Lionsgate TV premium TV series and eventually its movies to Starz.
“Combining our strong slate of original programming focused on narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences with Lionsgate’s diverse pipeline of both commercially successful and critically acclaimed franchises further enhances the value proposition we bring to our subscribers and partners,” Alison Hoffman, president of domestic networks for Starz, said in a statement.
The novel coronavirus, which has forced Americans to shelter at home, has been a boon to Starz as it has seen a big spike in streaming viewership and subscriber growth. The agreement for Lionsgate and Summit label titles also follows an industry trend where major studios are reserving content for their own streaming platforms rather than sell their intellectual property to third-party competitors.
“Demand for movies has never been greater, and this agreement has significant benefits for our company, our consumers and our partners. It represents a great opportunity to continue monetizing our robust theatrical slate while supporting the continued strong growth of Starz,” Lionsgate president of worldwide television distribution Jim Packer said in a statement.
The multi-year deal also means Lionsgate will forego legacy dollars from renting out its studio pics to Hulu and HBO to instead chase new dollars from its expanding Starz platform.
“This agreement is the next logical step in capitalizing on the combination of our two companies. It gives our brands and franchises an exciting new platform home, accelerates the convergence of our studio and platform businesses and will support Starz’s continued growth into one of the world’s leading premium subscription platforms,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer added in his own statement.