Cinedigm Acquires Future Today Streaming Platform for $60M

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Cinedigm Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk

The cash and stock deal expands Chris McGurk's digital media company Cinedigm in the streaming space in India and China.

Digital media company Cinedigm Corp. is to acquire the Future Today ad-supported streaming platform (AVOD) for $60 million in cash and stock.

The deal for the Mumbai- and Menlo Park, California-based streamer, unveiled Friday, dramatically expands Chris McGurk's digital company in the over-the-top digital space in India and China after earlier unveiling plans to launch an OTT channel in the U.S. market dedicated to Chinese film and TV content.

The acquisition, where Los Angeles-based Cinedigm will pay $45 million and $15 million in stock, will grow the company's OTT footprint to over 7.6 million monthly active users and 67 million app users in all. Future Today operates over 700 content channels, including HappyKids.tv and fawesome.tv, and manages over 200,000 film, TV and digital content assets, according to Cinedigm.

"Building our stake in the rapidly surging AVOD business is a top priority for Cinedigm, and the acquisition of Future Today instantaneously transforms our company into the world’s largest provider of premium AVOD content by adding an established, fast-growing and active platform that includes a high volume of some of the most highly sought-after premium OTT programming,” McGurk, Cinedigm Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Cinedigm got its start helping smaller theater chains convert to digital projection, but now it is known for operating OTT channels and providing premium feature films and series to digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix and Amazon; cable and satellite providers including Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV; and major retailers like Walmart and Target.

McGurk, a Hollywood veteran who spent years in the studio system at Disney, Universal and MGM, joined the company in 2011. Cinedigm's suite of existing digital channels includes CONtv, for the Comic Con Network; Dove, a family channel; and Docurama, a channel dedicated to factual content.

The Asian OTT deal for Future Today follows Cinedigm receiving a majority investment from Hong Kong-based media investor Bison Capital, which was followed by a strategic partnership with Starrise Media to co-produce and distribute films and other content in North America and China.