Lionsgate strikes streaming deal with China's Alibaba

By Daniel S Levine,

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has struck a streaming deal with Lionsgate, which would bring the studio’s content to the company’s set-top boxes. That means that Chinese consumers will be able to stream episodes of Mad Men, the Twilight movies, The Hunger Games and other Lionsgate properties.

Alibaba announced the deal on Tuesday and it is the company’s latest attempt to break into the entertainment industry, notes The Wall Street Journal. While the company does not typically announce its moves to the public, today’s deal was trumpeted and obviously heard in Hollywood.

“Alibaba is a tremendously successful and dominant partner to have in China," Jim Packer, Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution, said in a statement. "They touch millions of consumers now."

Sources for Bloomberg said that the two companies will not invest in each other. This is strictly a content deal, but further financial terms were not disclosed.

Alibaba is an online retail giant, dealing with $248 billion of business last year. It filed for an IPO in May, which analysts estimate will be worth $168 billion.

image of ‘Mad Men’ cast courtesy of INFphoto.com

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