Lionsgate in distribution deal with Rainbow

139 titles to air on IFC, Sundance, AMC, WE networks

TORONTO -- With an eye on activist shareholder Carl Icahn declaring film libraries hold declining value, Lionsgate on Wednesday said it has licensed 139 theatrical titles to Rainbow Media to air on its IFC, Sundance, AMC and WE networks.

Terms of the library sale and licensing agreement were not disclosed, but the deal includes award-winning titles like "Precious," "Crash" and "Monster's Ball."

The Lionsgate titles were sold to Rainbow for airing in the second, third and deep catalog windows.

The deal was hammered out by Rand Stoll, Lionsgate executive vp of television, and George Lentz, senior vp of programming at Rainbow.

Other film titles going to Rainbow include the "Saw", "Punisher," "Ghost House" and "Horror Fest."

Kevin Beggs, president of Liongate's TV group, in a statement said the Rainbow deal "underscores the growing appetite for content worldwide and our continued commitment to monetize our enormous filmed entertainment library and extend the revenue afterlife of our theatrical films."

The Vancouver-based mini-studio has a hefty production and P&A spend for its theatrical releases, and must consistently convince investors, including Icahn, that it can generate sufficient distribution revenue and profitability over time to justify the upfront expense.

Lionsgate added that its motion picture and TV library generated $323 million in sales in the latest financial year to March 31.

The Rainbow deal comes as Lionsgate has signalled it is prepared to hold talks with Icahn on possibly reaching a settlement to end their escalating legal and corporate feud.
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