June 11, 2019
Disney-owned Hulu and FX reportedly are getting pay-TV access to select Lionsgate movies beginning in 2020.
Epix, the pay-TV channel owned by MGM Studios, currently has the rights to Lionsgate movies, which include Oscar winner La La Land, The Hunger Games and Saw franchises, among others.
The John Wicks franchise starring Keanu Reeves is licensed separately to HBO through 2021. Twentieth Century Fox, which Disney recently acquired, also has a deal with HBO through 2022.
Lionsgate co-owned Epix with Viacom and MGM, until selling its stake to the venerable studio in 2017.
The two-year deal, first reported by The Information, enables Santa Monica-based Lionsgate to migrate its movies to Starz Play, the subscription streaming service launched in 2016.
Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2016 for $4.4 billion.
Notably, it was Starz that started licensing studio movies to OTT services through an exclusive deal with Netflix in 2008 that gave the SVOD pioneer access to 2,500 movies for pennies on the dollar from Disney, Sony Pictures and others.
Six years later, then-CEO Chris Albrecht would call the Netflix agreement “terrible,” as it helped the streaming service generate subscribers looking for cheaper access to Hollywood movies.
“For a very low price [Netflix] got access to all our stuff and it devalued our wholesale and resale prices,” Albrecht told an investor group. He left Starz earlier this year.