Lionsgate Partners With Comic-Con for SVOD Service9 Apr, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Lionsgate April 9 announced it has partnered with San Diego Comic-Con International for a subscription video-on-demand service that will launch later this year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last year 17 of the top 20 North American box office hits had a presence at the Comic-Con convention along with television series such as “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story.” Comic-Con International has grown from 300 attendees in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 to more than 130,000 fans last year. Badges for this year’s Comic-Con sold out in 60 minutes.
The unnamed SVOD service from Lionsgate and Comic-Con will feature a broad portfolio of content, including exclusive original short-form video, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to Comic-Con’s fan base as well as exclusive archived footage from the show’s 45-year history. As part of the new channel, the two companies will also work together to make the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival a 365-day-a-year online event.
“The fan base for the kind of films and television series showcased at Comic-Con has grown exponentially, and a SVOD service is the ideal platform to capture the magic and excitement of the Comic-Con experience year-round as well as the perfect vehicle for Comic-Con fans to discover new content,” Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution with Lionsgate, said in a statement.
Originally showcasing comic books, film and fantasy literature, Comic-Con has grown to encompass science fiction, horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectibles, video games, interactive multimedia, webcomics, fantasy novels and other aspects of pop culture.
“From the beginning of our discussions, nearly two years ago, we have been extremely impressed with Lionsgate’s embracing and understanding of fan culture,” David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations with Comic-Con, said in a statement.
The new SVOD service will also have exclusive access to the archives of sister convention WonderCon.
It is also separate from an over-the-top video service (www.contv.com) now available from Cinedigm and Wizard World, the latter a promoter of 27 Comic-Con events around the country.
Cinedigm spokesperson Jill Newhouse Calcaterra said unlike Lionsgate's pending SVOD service, ConTV is already functional with 2,500 hours of content.
"It clearly validates our strategy. [And] we have huge head start," Calcaterra said in an email.