Lionsgate has struck a deal with e-commerce titan Alibaba Group to stream its content in mainland China in a service that is expected to commence in August.
The freshly minted Lionsgate Entertainment World (LGEW) will offer a subscription streaming service available exclusively through Alibaba’s latest set-top box.
Alibaba Group Holdings values itself at around $130bn and is preparing an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange that could raise between $15m and $20m.
LGEW titles include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (pictured), Mockingjay – Part 1, Divergent, and “several titles” from the Twilight franchise.
TV programming includes the ABC series Nashville, Rosemary’s Baby on NBC, The Royals – set to debut in early 2015 on E! – and global hits Mad Men and Weeds.
The service will include behind-the-scenes footage and screening invitations. Lionsgate already has online distribution deals in place in China with Youku Tudou and Sohu.com.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer called Alibaba “the kind of entrepreneurial company with whom we like to be in business.”
Patrick Liu, president of Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment business unit, said the deal was part of the company’s plan to develop a “ecosystem where our users can meet, work and live.”
David U Lee, founder and president of Leeding Media and a force in US-Chinese media collaborations, helped orchestrate the agreement.