Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer mentioned the arrangement so matter-of-factly in his conference call with analysts this morning that I almost missed the fact that this is brand new: Beginning in January the studio will handle domestic distribution of DVD and Blu-ray discs for about 2,000 original shows and movies from A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel as well as programming from A&E’s partnerships with Major League Baseball and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The arrangement brings Lionsgate’s video distribution library to 15,000 movies and TV episodes with titles including the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series starring Colin Firth, Homicide: Life On The Street, reality shows such as Storage Wars, Shipping Wars, and Duck Dynasty, and MLB’s annual World Series film. The titles had been handled by New Video Group, which was recently acquired by Cinedigm. The company says that it’s concentrating on digital distribution and decided that handling the discs “did not make strategic or financial sense for us.”That was part of Cinedigm’s game plan before it bought New Video so “it was not included in any of our evaluations or plans, both pre and post the acquisition.” But Feltheimer’s pleased to pick up the business: He says the new agreement “deepens our overall relationship with A&E Networks, with whom we’re already doing business across multiple channels.” In February 2011 his company struck a home video distribution deal with Miramax, and this past May renewed its agreement StudioCanal.
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