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Starz Inks Distribution Deals With Russia, Georgia, Commonwealth of Independent States

21 Jan, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Agreement underscores Hollywood’s growing embrace of former Soviet states and softening stance toward region notorious for piracy

Starz Worldwide Distribution Jan. 21 announced it signed a multiyear distribution agreement for original programming and other content with Amedia, a Russian producer of television content, Pay-TV and VOD.

Under the deal, Amedia will broadcast current and future Starz Original series and other movie and TV content in Russia, Georgia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).

The pact also includes pay-TV and subscription streaming rights, the latter with Amediateka, a service similar to Netflix.

Starz Original series include “The White Queen,” “Magic City,” “Black Sails,” a pirate drama from Michael Bay, and “Power,” among other future projects. Other content in the first year of the agreement includes the VH1 TV series “Hit The Floor,” TV movies Paper Heart, Revenge, Stolen Child, and documentary “Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible.”

Amedia plans to broadcast each episode of the original series the day after their U.S. premieres, including “Black Sails,” which debuts in the United States Jan. 25. Amedia also has output deals with HBO, CBS/Showtime and Fox.

Amedia was founded in 2002 by Russian producer Alexandеr Akopov, with Len Blavatnik, an American investor in a number of media and digital assets worldwide. The company’s annual production volume is over 200 hours of content in various genres — dramas, mysteries, thrillers, romantic comedies and sitcoms.

Amedia was the first to launch coproduction of a TV series with Hollywood studios. 2009 romantic drama "Poor Anastasia" ("Bednaya Nastya"), was the first project produced by the company, and has been sold in 25 countries globally.

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