Youku, Lionsgate Sign Deal for Feature Films
BEIJING, CHINA(05 Mar 2012)
Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU), China's leading internet television company, recently signed a licensing agreement with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading diversified global entertainment company. The deal was arranged through Celestial Tiger Entertainment, the exclusive sales agent for Lionsgate in Greater China and Southeast Asia. The agreement grants Youku the right to make 200 Lionsgate titles, including Hotel Rwanda, Monster's Ball, and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, available to users on an ad-supported basis via Youku's Movies Channel.
Youku's Movies Channel (http://movie.youku.com) is a curated front-end to Youku's free and premium film content, and offers content owners a range of options for making their work available to viewers. In addition to choosing to set a price for their content, content owners can opt to allow their content to become freely available after a set period. Eleven of the 18 films with Chinese box office revenues of more than RMB 100 million in 2011 are currently available on Youku's Movies Channel.
"We're delighted to be able to offer Lionsgate films to our users on an advertising-supported basis," said Zhu Huilong, Vice president of Movie Operations and Corporate Development. "This agreement is a chance for Youku to deepen our industry-leading portfolio of international titles, and to broaden our partnerships with studios as we lead the way in offering legally licensed content online in China through a range of free and paid models."
Rights holders also have the option of making their titles available through Youku Premium (http://yuanxian.youku.com/), which offers paid on-demand and subscription-based access to ad-free, high-resolution premium content, including major new releases and favorite classics from Chinese and international studios. Youku Premium debuted in beta in October 2010 and has processed more than 1 million orders since then, with an average of 60,000 paid views for each of the top ten titles on the platform.
Youku has signed deals to license content from a number of major international studios including Disney, Paramount, Dreamworks, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox.
Youku Inc. is China's leading Internet television company. Our Internet television platform enables users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Youku, which stands for "what's best and what's cool" in Chinese, is the most recognized online video brand in China. Youku's American depositary shares, each representing 18 of our Class A ordinary shares, are traded on NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution. new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with the Golden Globe-winning drama "Boss" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, MARGIN CALL, THE LAST EXORCISM and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises – the blockbuster TWILIGHT SAGA, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and the HUNGER GAMES franchise, whose first film will be released on March 23. Recent Summit hits include RED, LETTERS TO JULIET, KNOWING, the STEP UP franchise and the Academy Award winning Best Picture THE HURT LOCKER.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Celestial Tiger Entertainment
CELESTIAL TIGER ENTERTAINMENT (CTE) is a diversified media company dedicated to entertaining audiences in Asia and beyond. The company focuses on the operation of branded pay television channels, content creation and content distribution targeted at Asian consumers.
CTE operates a powerful bouquet of distinct pay television channels including: CELESTIAL MOVIES, the most broadly distributed 24-hour Chinese and Asian movies channel in the world; CELESTIAL CLASSIC MOVIES, the gateway to an unparalleled array of Chinese movie masterpieces; CELESTIAL MOVIES ON DEMAND, Celestial's subscription video on demand service; KIX, the ultimate in action entertainment; Thrill, Asia's only horror and suspense movie channel; and KIX HD, featuring the best of action with a late-night dose of thrillers in high definition.
As one of Asia's largest vertically integrated entertainment companies, CTE produces original content which complements its channels business. CTE is also the exclusive sales agent of content in all media in Southeast Asia and China from independent Hollywood studio Lionsgate.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, CTE is a joint venture among Saban Capital Group, a leading private investment firm specializing in the media, entertainment and communications industries; Celestial Pictures, a major Asian entertainment company wholly-owned by Astro, the owner and operator of the leading DTH platform in Malaysia; and Lionsgate, the world's largest independent filmed entertainment studio.