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Lionsgate is about to see top movie titles like La La Land and its upcoming Power Rangers release streamed by Indian audiences as part of an exclusive SVOD deal signed with Amazon Prime Video.
Terms of the multiyear deal were not disclosed. But as Amazon battles Netflix for early dominance in an increasingly competitive Indian streaming market, the online retailer has inked an agreement to make Prime Video India the exclusive subscription streaming home for Lionsgate movies, TV series and upcoming releases.
The new licensing agreement with Amazon covers streaming rights to a host of upcoming movie and TV releases and library titles. The deal will also keep Lionsgate titles like Deepwater Horizon and The Divergent Series: Allegiant away from satellite and pay TV services in India.
“Our collaboration with Amazon Prime Video India is the latest example of our commitment to bring world-class, award-winning movies and television series to the Indian market and its viewers,” Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution Jim Packer said in a statement.
Lionsgate earlier partnered with New Regency to help broker their worldwide licensing deal with Amazon. The studio also pacted with Amazon on the domestic theatrical distribution of three movie titles, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, the Sundance acquisition The Big Sick and the home entertainment release of Amazon/Roadside Attraction’s Oscar winner Manchester by the Sea.
The relationship also extends to Lionsgate having an original TV series in development for Amazon, Time Out of Mind, based on the music and characters of the legendary Bob Dylan.
Now Lionsgate is partnering with Amazon in India in the face of a turf war between the two biggest online video distributors. As part of its own 130-country rollout, Netflix launched in India in Jan. 2016. Amazon then followed by offering its Prime Video service in India as part of a separate global rollout in 242 countries.
Lionsgate siding with Amazon in India makes its popular movie franchises like The Twilight Series and Step Up 5, and TV series like Mad Men, Nashville, The Royals and Graves available to a market of 460 million internet users, second only to China with over 721 million.
“Their prestigious and prolific library of motion picture and television titles is sure to produce sizable viewership for us,” Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head for Amazon Prime Video India said in his own statement. Because local content rules in India, Amazon has also struck content deals with Bollywood players like filmmaker Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions banner.
Besides Amazon and Netflix, local players in the fast-growing Indian streaming business include ErosNow, owned by India’s Eros International film group, Hotstar, backed by 21st Century Fox’s Star India network, Sony Entertainment Television’s Sony Liv and Viacom18 India’s Voot.
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