Discovery Communications inks long-term distribution deal with Lionsgate

MUMBAI: Discovery Communications and Lionsgate have entered an exclusive long-term agreement wherein the latter will distribute programming from Discovery's network portfolio across packaged media platforms in the United States.


The agreement encompasses DVD and Blu-ray distribution of Discovery's portfolio of series and specials spanning its network brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.


The first release under the agreement will be the 23 February, 2016 Blu-ray and DVD release of Racing Extinction, the landmark documentary, which had its worldwide premiere yesterday on Discovery Channel in more than 220 markets. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, tells the story of a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world's most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, Racing Extinction reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.


“We're thrilled to expand our relationship with Discovery, home of some of the most exciting brands on television, and delighted to bring their diverse and growing portfolio of programming to our home entertainment consumers. Racing Extinction is a powerful and topical documentary by an acclaimed filmmaker that has taken television audiences by storm, and it reflects the world-class quality of Discovery's great pipeline of content,” said Lionsgate home entertainment president Ron Schwartz.


“We're delighted to partner with Lionsgate, which operates one of the industry's leading home entertainment businesses, and eager to leverage their marketing prowess and distribution expertise for titles across our portfolio. Lionsgate is a strong partner and Racing Extinction is an ideal title to launch our partnership and create new opportunities for both our companies,” added Discovery Communications SVP digital distribution and partnerships Rebecca Glashow.


In addition to Lionsgate's own film and television pipelines and the Discovery Communications content announced today, the company's home entertainment business distributes content from other leading third-party suppliers including STUDIOCANAL, Miramax, A24 and Roadside Attractions.


The agreement extends the strategic relationship between the two companies announced last month, under which Discovery Communications agreed to purchase five million common shares of Lionsgate. Liberty Global also purchased five million common shares, resulting in each company having an approximately 3.4 per cent shareholding of Lionsgate's current outstanding shares. Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav and Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries also were named to the Lionsgate board of directors.

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