Jim Packer, Bill Rouhana to Speak at FAST Session at the April NAB Show

The upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas has scheduled a Main Stage session on the rapidly growing FAST business that features several top home entertainment executives, including Lionsgate’s Jim Packer and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Bill Rouhana.

The “Fast Channels and Furious Growth” session, open to all attendees, will take place on April 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Packer, Rouhana and other leaders in streaming and digital distribution will discuss their strategies to harness audience appetite for free, ad-supported television, which hit revenues of roughly $4 billion in the United States last year and is projected to triple over the next five years.

Panelists include Amy Kuessner, EVP of content strategy and global partnerships at Paramount Streaming; Adam Lewinson, chief content officer at Tubi; Packer, president of worldwide television distribution at Lionsgate; and Bill Rouhana, chairman and CEO at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. They will discuss programmatic challenges and opportunities, how to utilize targeted advertising effectively and how to build infrastructure quickly.

The NAB Show, held April 15 – 19, 2023 in Las Vegas, is celebrating its centennial year as the primary conference and exhibition driving the evolution of broadcast, media and entertainment. For complete details, visit www.nabshow.com.


Jim Packer Signs New Long-Term Agreement as Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television Distribution

Lionsgate Oct. 17 announced it has entered into a new long-term employment agreement with Jim Packer, president of worldwide television distribution.

The new deal comes as Lionsgate continues to grow its global distribution business with licensing deals for the “John Wick”-based original series “The Continental” on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform; CBS series “Ghosts”; and award-winning comedy series, “Schitt’s Creek” on Hulu, among other platforms.

Jim Packer

Under Packer’s leadership, Lionsgate has expanded the studio’s Pay 1 movie distribution deal with Starz, in addition to separate Pay 2 deals with Roku and Peacock. A movie’s first pay window typically occurs following its theatrical and home entertainment release windows.

During Packer’s tenure, Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and television library nearly doubled its revenue to almost $800 million.

Lionsgate’s worldwide television distribution group licenses 40 to 50 feature films annually, the studio’s television content slate, Starz original programming, in addition to catalog content to hundreds of broadcast, cable, SVOD, AVOD and FAST platforms globally.

“Jim is a world-class executive, a respected leader and a trusted partner whose entrepreneurial drive and knowledge of the changing face of the content business will continue to be an important part of moving our company forward,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.

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During the year, Packer has assembled a management team that includes Agapy Kapouranis, president of international television and digital distribution; Ryan Lowerre, president of domestic television and digital distribution; Chase Brisbin, EVP of international television and digital distribution; Kate Nexon, EVP of domestic television and digital distribution; and Suzy Feldman, EVP of worldwide television marketing.

Before joining Lionsgate in 2011, Packer served as president of MGM’s worldwide television and digital operations. Prior to that, he was an executive with The Walt Disney Company managing the distribution and syndication of Disney content.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Packer has served on the board of trustees of the University of Colorado Foundation and the Leeds School of Business. He also previously served on the boards of the multiplatform channel Epix, NATPE, The Paley Center for Media, and Movie Network in Australia.

Lionsgate, Bell Media Partner in Canadian Content Co-Development Deal

Lionsgate and Bell Media Sept. 13 announced they have teamed for a co-development deal to produce Canadian comedy and drama television series for the global market.

The multiyear partnership enables Lionsgate to act as the global distributor outside Canada for select Bell Media original programming that is produced locally in English and French, including projects Bell Media co-develops with Lionsgate. In Canada, Bell Media distributes projects developed under the pact.

Through this pact, the companies are aiming to work together to seek projects and create original Canadian programming for global audiences.

“Canadian series are resonating with a global audience, and Bell Media is a leader in creating shows that work in Canada, the U.S. and around the world,” Jim Packer, president of worldwide television distribution at Lionsgate, said in a statement.

Packer said the agreement allows both companies to create strategic value by responding to the growing demand for content internationally, while building on Lionsgate’s strong television production resume as creator and distributor of premium scripted content in Canada.

“We’re delighted to expand our longstanding partnership with Bell Media, the team behind some of Canada’s most-acclaimed original programming,” he said.

This pact reflects an evolution of the multifaceted Lionsgate/Bell Media relationship. The two companies have an exclusive long-term deal for Bell Media to distribute the first pay window of Lionsgate’s theatrical releases in Canada. Lionsgate’s Starz premium pay-TV platform launched its subscription streaming app in Canada via Bell Media.

In addition, Bell Media’s premium streaming service Crave is the exclusive Canadian home of Lionsgate Television/HBO Max shows “Minx,” starring Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson, and “Love Life,” starring Anna Kendrick and William Jackson Harper.

A Canadian-domiciled company, Lionsgate is drawing upon a history of Canadian-based film and television production in conjunction with its partners that includes its role as the U.S. distributor of the Emmy Award-winning comedy “Schitt’s Creek,” along with recent series such as “Son of a Critch” and “Wong & Winchester.”

Lionsgate Taps Kozlowski to Head Home Entertainment, Digital Distribution Marketing

Lionsgate Oct. 10 announced the promotion of marketing executive Amanda Kozlowski to EVP of home entertainment and digital distribution marketing.

Kozlowski, a 10-year veteran of the company, in her new role will oversee Lionsgate’s marketing efforts across traditional and emerging platforms and technologies for the entire home entertainment and digital distribution division.

Amanda Kozlowski

This includes home entertainment distribution of Lionsgate’s feature film slate, titles from one of the largest independent television businesses in the world, Starz’s original programming slate, a 17,000-title film and television library, and third-party titles from such content companies as StudioCanal, Grindstone, A24, Amazon Studios, CBS Films, and sister company Roadside Attractions, among others.

Kozlowski also is charged with managing the department’s media planning, marketing technology platforms and data analytics.

“In this changing environment, it’s crucial to have someone who can bring a fresh and innovative perspective to how we approach the market and there’s no one better qualified than Amanda,” Lionsgate president of worldwide home entertainment Ron Schwartz and president of worldwide television and digital distribution Jim Packer said in a joint statement.

“Her incredible track record, vision and dedication to our prolific home entertainment business makes her the perfect candidate to lead our marketing group.”

Kozlowski previously served as SVP of digital marketing, leading the digital marketing strategy for the department. She also has overseen the execution of Lionsgate’s domestic EST/VOD sales efforts and distribution deals with Roadside Attractions, Miramax Films and StudioCanal.

Prior to joining Lionsgate, Kozlowski oversaw campaigns for marketing agency A.D.D. Marketing + Advertising as well for the nonprofit organization Film Independent.

Kozlowski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.