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RLJ Entertainment SVOD Services Top 620,000 Subs

9 Nov, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Home entertainment distributor narrows fiscal loss to $2.7 million

RLJ Entertainment Nov. 9 said its branded subscription streaming video services — Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel — had a combined 620,000 subscribers at the end of the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), up more than 50% from the previous-year fiscal period.

Revenue increased 13.9% year-over-year to $20.9 million, primarily driven by a 58.6% increase in digital channels revenue. Wholesale distribution segment revenue, which includes packaged media, remained relatively flat at $3.1 million from $3.4 million a year ago.

CEO Miguel Penella believes the SVOD services can collectively reach 1 million subs over the next 12 to 18 months. 

“We remain committed to execute our strategy of accelerated investments in content, distribution and marketing to support rapid digital channel growth and capture momentum in our IP licensing and wholesale business units,” Penella said in a statement.

Separately, RLJE recognized 74% equity earnings increase from Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) as the unit improved its film, TV distribution and publishing business segments.

Indeed, 20th Century Fox Nov. 10 releases a theatrical reboot of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, starring Kenneth Branagh as inspector Hercule Poirot, and an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe and Penélope Cruz, among others.

RLJE sold Fox the Murder movie rights in 2013 following a “highly competitive bidding process,” according to the distributor. RLJE acquired majority ownership in Christie’s literary estate in 2012.

“We have worked closely with Mathew Prichard, Agatha's grandson, to find the right studio and filmmakers to grow the Christie brand,” Penella said at the time.

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