Lionsgate Joins Forces With Alibaba to Open Digital Service in China

Source: Alibaba.

Shares of media producer Lionsgate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF  ) jumped as much as 4.3% this morning as the company signed a distribution agreement with Chinese heavyweight Alibaba.

Lionsgate and Alibaba will team up to launch a subscription-based digital streaming service in China. Named Lionsgate Entertainment World, the service should open in August and is tied to Alibaba's latest set-top boxes.

This way, Lionsgate gets deeper access to the world's largest consumer market while Alibaba gains streaming rights to Lionsgate hits like the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises. Lionsgate also produces Emmy-winning TV series such as Weeds and Mad Men, and these titles will also be available via the Alibaba joint venture.

Lionsgate is free to find other avenues into the Chinese market, but the new service will get some exclusive content such as behind-the-scenes footage. Subscribers will also get access to screening events and special merchandise.

"The launch of our streaming service in China underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to digital platforms around the world," said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a prepared statement.

"This cooperation signals our ongoing commitment to advance our vision of making digital media entertainment available to our customers anywhere, anytime," said Patrick Liu, Alibaba's president of digital entertainment.

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