Wizard World, a producer of live event pop culture expositions, is extending its reach in China, partnering with CNLive to launch an English-language SVOD service in the massive country. CNLive is one of only seven entities licensed to distribute content over the internet in the Middle Kingdom. It provides Wizard World China a multi-year right and license to program a 24/7, SVOD service across all of mainland China, including Macao and Hong Kong.
Wizard says its SVOD service will have a reach covering all of the 800 million viewers capable of receiving IP enabled devices across the mainland. An estimated 390 million Chinese nationals are English speakers and English learners.
“This SVOD transaction is a landmark achievement,” says John D Maatta, Wizard World President & CEO. “While consuming programming provided by SVOD services has become a way of life in the United States, the industry remains nascent in China. With this transaction, the very best entertainment content from the world’s best studios and production companies will be presented on the Chinese mainland on a subscription basis. All of the pieces are in place, this will be the premiere SVOD service in China both in terms of its scope and it content.”
Wizard World’s content arm expects to provide a wide range of fare. In addition to independently produced programming, Wizard will acquire product from the world’s leading studios and producers. Today’s news follows a September announcement that WW and CNLive had been given license by the Chinese government to distribute ad-supported streamed content via mobile and IP-enabled devices, which it said would have an emphasis on classic U.S. television.