Lionsgate(R) Selected to Distribute HIT Entertainment's Premiere Family Entertainment Library in North America



    
    Agreement Catapults Lionsgate Into Top Three In North American
    Non-Theatrical Family Home Entertainment Marketplace With Distribution
    Rights To THOMAS & FRIENDS(TM), BOB THE BUILDER(TM), BARNEY(TM), ANGELINA
    BALLERINA(TM) And More
    

    SANTA MONICA, Calif., VANCOUVER, British Columbia and LONDON, March 24
/CNW/ -- Reflecting the continued growth of its home entertainment business,
Lionsgate (NYSE:   LGF), the premier independent filmed entertainment studio,
has acquired the home entertainment distribution rights to worldwide family
entertainment leader HIT Entertainment's extensive portfolio of award-winning
children's programming in the US and Canada.  The announcement was made today
by Lionsgate President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Steve Beeks and HIT
Entertainment Chief Financial Officer Jim Weight.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Lionsgate obtains the exclusive
marketing, sales and distribution rights to HIT's iconic franchises including
THOMAS & FRIENDS(TM), BOB THE BUILDER(TM), BARNEY(TM), ANGELINA BALLERINA(TM)
and FIREMAN SAM(TM), newly acquired brands such as FIFI & THE FLOWERTOTS(TM)
and ROARY THE RACING CAR(TM) from Chapman Entertainment, Aardman Animations'
award-winning WALLACE & GROMIT(TM) which includes four TV half hour episodes,
and SHAUN THE SHEEP(TM), as well as The Jim Henson Company's FRAGGLE ROCK(TM)
and additional family titles from the Henson library.
    Lionsgate is scheduled to begin distributing HIT's full slate of home
entertainment releases in May 2008.   THOMAS AND THE GREAT DISCOVERY, the
brand's first feature length direct to DVD movie since 2005, featuring Pierce
Brosnan as the narrator, will be one of the first titles released in September
2008.
    "The HIT library will be one of the most treasured jewels in our family
entertainment crown," said Lionsgate President and Co-Chief Operating Officer
Steve Beeks.  "With the opportunity to combine such evergreen worldwide brands
as BARNEY, THOMAS & FRIENDS and BOB THE BUILDER with our existing properties,
including MARVEL(TM), DOODLEBOPS, BRATZ and CLIFFORD, this agreement propels
us into the top three family entertainment distributors in North America for
non-theatrical product.  It also underscores our longstanding commitment to
highly recognizable, branded properties in the family entertainment space,
encompassing a diverse portfolio of legendary franchises and cutting edge new
properties.  This deal exemplifies Lionsgate's strategy of patient,
disciplined growth."
    "We are thrilled to work with Lionsgate, whose existing family home
entertainment operations have already generated more than 9% North American
market share, to bring HIT's high-quality, trusted properties to families
through home entertainment," said Weight.  "We look forward to a partnership
that builds on the massive popularity of franchises such as Thomas, Bob the
Builder and Barney, while introducing a rich and diverse portfolio of new
properties to the next generation of family audiences."
    Lionsgate and HIT noted that, anticipating the emerging digital
marketplace, the agreement encompasses electronic sell-through to the HIT
owned titles as well as DVD distribution rights.  Lionsgate currently has non-
theatrical family home entertainment market share of approximately 9% and,
with the new partnership with HIT, this non-theatrical family home
entertainment market share is expected to grow to approximately 15%.
    The addition of the HIT Entertainment portfolio continues Lionsgate's
tremendous growth momentum as a distributor of many of the most prominent
family brands in the marketplace.  Prior to this deal, Lionsgate was the
fourth largest distributor of children's non-theatrical titles and the second
largest for children's non-theatrical features.  In the children's television
market, Lionsgate is one of the industry leaders, as it releases to DVD a
virtual who's-who in family entertainment brands including Scholastic's
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, American Greetings' THE CARE BEARS, Cookie Jar
Entertainment's THE DOODLEBOPS, MGA's BRATZ, Nelvana's MISS SPIDER'S SUNNY
PATCH FRIENDS as well as SPEED RACER and the Marvel Animated Features(TM)
series.
    
    ABOUT LIONSGATE(R)
    
    Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio and is a
premier producer and distributor of motion picture, television programming,
home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally-
delivered content.  Its prestigious and prolific library of 12,000 motion
picture titles and television episodes is a stable source of recurring revenue
and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses.
The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment
in markets around the globe.
    
    ABOUT HIT ENTERTAINMENT
    
    HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax
Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment
producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as
BARNEY(TM), BOB THE BUILDER(TM), THOMAS & FRIENDS(TM), PINGU(TM), FIREMAN
SAM(TM), ANGELINA BALLERINA(TM) and RAINBOW MAGIC(TM). HIT represents FIFI AND
THE FLOWERTOTS(TM) in North America and Japan and acts as a worldwide
representative for The Jim Henson Company's library of classic family brands
and as representative for THE WIGGLES(R) in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's
lines of business span television and video production (including studios in
the US and the UK), publishing, consumer products licensing and live events.
With a catalogue of more than 1,500 hours of young children's programming, HIT
sells its shows to more than 240 countries worldwide, in more than 45
different languages and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and
Japan. In 2005, the Company joined Comcast Corporation, PBS and Sesame
Workshop to launch PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), a 24-hour digital cable channel and
VOD service for preschoolers.  In 2007, HIT and Chellomedia, the European
content division of Liberty Global, Inc and its subsidiary ChelloZone,
announced a joint venture to launch and distribute JimJam, an international
preschool TV channel (excludes the US, UK and China). For more information,
visit www.hitentertainment.com.

    To download artwork, please visit www.hitnewsonline.com

    For Press Inquiries Contact:

    
    HIT Entertainment              Lionsgate
    Denielle Webb                  Jodie Magid/Jennifer Sandler
    646-277-5216                   212-386-6885/ 310-255-4072
    DWebb@HITentertainment.com     Jmagid@lionsgate.com/jsandler@lionsgate.com
    

    For Lionsgate Corporate Inquiries, Contact:

    
    Peter D. Wilkes                Kelli Easterling
    310-255-3726                   310-255-4929
    pwilkes@lionsgate.com          keasterling@lionsgate.com
    




For further information:

For further information: Press, Denielle Webb of HIT Entertainment, 
+1-646-277-5216, DWebb@HITentertainment.com; or Jodie Magid, +1-212-386-6885, 
Jmagid@lionsgate.com, or Jennifer Sandler, +1-310-255-4072, 
jsandler@lionsgate.com, or Corporate, Peter D. Wilkes, +1-310-255-3726, 
pwilkes@lionsgate.com, or Kelli Easterling, +1-310-255-4929, 
keasterling@lionsgate.com, all of Lionsgate Web Site: http://www.lionsgate.com
                 http://www.hitentertainment.com                 
http://www.hitnewsonline.com


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