Lionsgate to Distribute Discovery Programming on Disc3 Dec, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Lionsgate Dec. 3 announced an exclusive deal with Discovery Communications to distribute DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of Discovery TV series and network brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.
The first release will be the Feb. 23, 2016, Blu-ray/DVD release of Racing Extinction, a documentary that had its premiere Dec. 2 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.
“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,” Ron Schwartz, president of Lionsgate home entertainment, said in a statement.
The agreement extends the relationship between the two companies announced last month, under which Discovery agreed to purchase five million common shares of Lionsgate. Liberty Global also purchased five million common shares, resulting in each company having approximately 3.4% of Lionsgate’s current outstanding shares. Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries also were named to Lionsgate’s board of directors.
Lionsgate, which also distributes discs for StudioCanal, Miramax, A24 and Roadside Attractions, saw home entertainment revenue drop 7% to $153.5 million in the most-recent fiscal period. Revenue was down due to fewer wide-release theatrical titles and product mix.