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Lionsgate, Paramount License Content for Playback on DivX Devices

4 Aug, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate Aug. 4 inked a deal with digital media company DivX that allows its content to be securely downloaded via devices such as Blu-ray players, Web-enabled HDTVs and portable media devices that incorporate the San Diego-based company’s video format.

Concurrently, DivX also signed a licensing deal with Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) for access to Paramount Pictures’ extensive library, as well as new releases.

“The DivX platform provides distribution partners with a device ecosystem that allows for a seamless consumer experience,” said Alex Carloss, EVP and GM, worldwide digital distribution at PDE.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate said the multiyear agreement includes both standard-definition and high-definition content from its digital library, including Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, dramas such as 3:10 to Yuma, action movies including Forbidden Kingdom and horror films such as the “Saw” franchise, My Bloody Valentine 3-D and The Haunting in Connecticut.

“In partnering with DivX, we are ensuring that our films are made available to video-on-demand sites in a secure, high-quality format,” said Curt Marvis, president of digital media at the mini-major. “It’s important to us that Lionsgate fans enjoy the same cinematic viewing experience watching our movies at home or on the go as they do in the theater. The DivX format enables us to do that.”

Lionsgate earlier this year said digital distribution and Blu-ray continued to generate significantly higher margins, with high-def packaged media representing 10% to 15% of Lionsgate’s new-theatrical-release revenue.

The agreement marks the fourth format approval deal with a major studio underscoring the traction DivX technology is making in Hollywood, according to Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX.

“Adding Lionsgate films to our premium content offerings is a significant milestone for DivX,” Hell said.

Separately, DivX signed digital content distribution deals with three European download-to-own services, including ERG in Belgium and Holland, FilmOn.com in the United Kingdom and Italy-based Play4film.com.

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