SANTA MONICA, Calif. and SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 3, 2015 /CNW/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 pay-TV programmer, have entered an exclusive long-term agreement for Lionsgate to distribute programming from Discovery's renowned network portfolio across packaged media platforms in the United States. The agreement announced today encompasses DVD and Blu-ray distribution of Discovery's vast 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 February 23, 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 (The Cove), 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," said Lionsgate Home Entertainment President Ron Schwartz. "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."
"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," said Rebecca Glashow, Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution and Partnerships, Discovery Communications. "Lionsgate is a strong partner and Racing Extinction is an ideal title to launch our partnership and create new opportunities for both our companies."
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 described today 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% 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.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including TestTube, Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. With Pilgrim Studios recently joining the Lionsgate family, the Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
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