Lionsgate Taps Gene George to Run International TV Distribution

Courtesy of Lionsgate

The former Starz exec joins the company as the studio expands sales and broadcast partnerships in new markets worldwide.

Lionsgate TV on Thursday continued to ramp up its distribution arm by naming former Starz exec Gene George to oversee global sales for its popular series.

The studio named George executive vp worldwide distribution, responsible for international TV distribution as Lionsgate builds out its domestic and international sales and distribution operations. His hire follows Lionsgate tapping 22-year Disney exec Jared Goetz to serve in the newly created role of president of North American television distribution.

George previously served as Starz's executive vp worldwide distribution, overseeing the sales and distribution of original series, including Spartacus, The White Queen and Power. Before joining then Starz Media in 2008, he was president at Regent Worldwide.

In his new role, George will license Lionsgate's filmed entertainment content in new markets, acquire new content for the studio's international slate and help further integrate Starz into Lionsgate's global distribution operations. The studio recently completed the acquisition of Starz for $4.4 billion to create a global content engine.

Lionsgate is hedging its bets by exploiting international co-production opportunities at the same time it turns out originals like Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and Hulu's Casual. The TV group's roster of around 90 shows on 40 different networks includes Nashville on CMT and Hulu, The Royals on E!, Dear White People on Netflix and White Famous on Showtime.

George will report to Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution Jim Packer. "The Starz acquisition not only allowed us to grow our content platform exponentially, but provided us with great executives to round out our global distribution presence," Packer said Thursday in a statement.