Roku and Saban Films May 27 announced a landmark agreement granting Roku its first-ever Pay 1 window streaming rights to movies released by Saban Films. Under the agreement, a selection of Saban’s 2021 film slate will stream free exclusively on Roku’s ad-supported streaming service, The Roku Channel, in the U.S. and Canada following theatrical and home entertainment release.
“Streaming has become an incredible way to experience movie-making magic from the comfort of your own home and we are thrilled to bring an extraordinary lineup of entertainment to The Roku Channel,” Bill Bromiley, president of Saban Films, said in a statement.
Saban’s first film to premiere on The Roku Channel will be Echo Boomers, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon and Patrick Schwarzenegger on June 15. The crime thriller was released last December on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment.
Future film debuts include Happily, starring Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé; Percy vs Goliath (U.S. only), starring Academy Award winner Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braff; Under the Stadium Lights, starring Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson.
“Saban Films is a great partner with a history of creating standout films,” said Rob Holmes, VP of programming for Roku. “This first-of-its-kind agreement allows us to bring these compelling films exclusively to our large, engaged audience for free.”
Launched in 2017, The Roku Channel is the home of free and premium entertainment on the Roku platform, including a lineup of more than 40,000 free movies and programs and 190+ free live linear television channels. The Roku Channel licenses and distributes content from more than 175 partners. In addition to Roku devices, The Roku Channel is available on Web, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung TVs and can be accessed internationally in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
In the first quarter of 2021, The Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 70 million people.
Saban Films remains active in the acquisition, production and distribution space. The company’s recent projects run the gamut from theatrical films such as The Homesman, starring Hilary Swank, to two of the biggest Fathom events with Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell and Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which the company partnered on after coming onboard at the script stage.