Starz Worldwide Distribution Expands Exclusive Licensing Distribution Deal for STARZ Original Series, Movies and Other TV Content with Amedia in Russia, Georgia, CIS & The Baltics
January 21, 2014 --
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. and MOSCOW, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Starz Worldwide Distribution and Amedia, a leading Russian producer of television content, Pay TV broadcaster and VOD service operator, announced a multi-year, multiplatform content licensing and distribution deal to broadcast current and future STARZ Original series and other movie and TV content to audiences in Russia, Georgia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). Amedia was founded in 2002 by producer Alexandr Akopov.
Under the output agreement, Amedia gains exclusive pay television and SVOD rights in Russia, CIS & The Baltics to broadcast STARZ Original series including "The White Queen," "Magic City," and the eagerly-anticipated "Black Sails," a pirate drama from executive producerMichael Bay. The agreement also gives Amedia access to Starz Worldwide Distribution's future STARZ Original series over the lifetime of the agreement (including "Power"). Amedia plans to broadcast each episode of the original series the day after their respective U.S. premieres, first including "Black Sails" (U.S. premiere on January 25).
The eight-episode first season of "Black Sails" centers on the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island." "Black Sails" is executive produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Purge, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). The series was created by showrunner and executive producer Jonathan Steinberg (creator "Jericho," "Human Target") and co-executive producer Robert Levine ("Touch"). Production began on the 10-episode second season at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa in November.
Other content included in the first year of the multiyear agreement includes the VH1 TV series "Hit The Floor," TV movies (Paper Heart, Revenge, Stolen Child), and documentaries (Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible).
"We are very excited about expanding our cooperation with Starz. The company is well known in international TV markets with edgy and provocative Premium Pay TV series. We are happy to deliver such great content to Russian audiences via our PAY and SVOD services. An exclusive output deal with Starz - along with previously concluded output deals with HBO, CBS/Showtime & Fox - is a logical step to strengthen Amedia as a Russian home of premium TV content from leading international studios," said Denis Gorshkov, VP of Programming & Acquisitions, Amedia TV.
"Starz Worldwide Distribution is very pleased to expand the distribution of its current and future pipeline of quality STARZ Original series programming and other licensed TV/movie content with Amedia," said Gene George, EVP, Worldwide Distribution for Starz. "STARZ Original series are truly global in their appeal as witnessed by several new output agreements. We eagerly anticipate the first new series from this agreement with Amedia, 'Black Sails," debuting in Russia and the region beginning on January 26."
This new multi-year relationship further complements the exclusive line-up of the shows to be seen on Pay TV channels Amedia Premium HD and Amedia 1 as well as on the original Amedia VOD platform Amediateka, the subscription video-on-demand service together with the premium TV content from other US studios (including HBO, CBS/Showtime, Fox, WB, Sony and ABC Studios). Amediateka is available via multiple devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Amedia Premium HD and Amedia 1 will deliver the hits 24-hours a day in high definition in Russian language. Amedia TV channels are available via all major cable & satellite operators in Russia.
Amedia (www.amediafilm.ru) is one of the biggest Russian producers of television films, series and programs. Amedia was founded in 2002 by Russian producer Alexandr Akopov, with Len Blavatnik, American industrialist and investor in a number of media and digital assets worldwide, joining as a senior partner in 2005.The company's annual production volume is over 200 hours of content in various genres dramas, mysteries, thrillers, romantic comedies and sitcoms. Amedia pioneered industrial methods of TV drama production in Russia and was the first to launch coproduction with major Hollywood studios. Romantic drama series "Poor Anastasia," the first project produced by the company, had great success in Russia and was sold to 25 countries across the world. Amedia is a multiple winner of the TEFI, Russian Television Academy Awards. Amedia started broadcast operations in 2011 with the launch of Amedia branded basic cable/satellite TV channel in Russia and CIS. In 2013 Amedia launched two new Pay TV channels Amedia Premium (www.amediahd.ru) and Amedia 1 and VOD platform Amediateka (www.amediateka.ru) based on TV international content.
About Starz Worldwide Distribution
Starz Worldwide Distribution (www.starzglobal.com) is a leading global distributor of movies, television series, documentaries, children's programming, and other video content. Starz Worldwide Distribution licenses and syndicates Starz original series and other owned and licensed third party programming on a worldwide basis. Starz Worldwide Distribution's partnerships with independent producers provide high-quality and diverse programming to its clients, while its experience in the field distinguishes it as a premier supplier in the global content marketplace. Starz Worldwide Distribution is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ and ENCORE pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2013, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 57.0 million subscribers, including 22.0 million at STARZ, and 35.0 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ and ENCORE, along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX, air over 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.