Private equity player Saban Capital Group has formed a 50:50 partnership with Lionsgate to operate and manage Hong Kong-based film and TV venture Tiger Gate.

Established by William Pfeiffer and Lionsgate International executive Paul Presburger in 2008, Tiger Gate operates two genre channels – thriller/horror channel Thrill and action channel KIX. The two channels launched in Indonesia in August 2009 and are set to launch in Hong Kong at the end of April.

Saban and Lionsgate will work together to roll the channels out to other markets in South-East Asia in the short-term, and the larger markets of China, India, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the Middle East in the longer term.

The venture taps into Lionsgate’s 12,000-title film and TV programming library and is also producing and acquiring local-language film and TV content to feed its channels. Further channel launches are planned and the venture will also distribute packages of Lionsgate-owned film and TV content across Asia.

Tiger Gate will continue to be run by Pfeiffer, who previously founded Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures, and Presburger.

“We welcome Saban Capital Group as a partner and look forward to the talent and expertise their team will provide as we expand Tiger Gate into the world’s largest and fast-growing market,” said Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer.

“We are thrilled to join Lionsgate in this attractive investment that will allow SCG to expand our global footprint and capitalise on high growth opportunities in the Asian market,” said SCG president and COO Adam Chesnoff.

SCG’s investments also include US-based Spanish-language media company Univision and Israel’s national telco provide Bezeq.