Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co., is giving Lionsgate as much as USD375 million in production financing. The investment is part of a wider, three-year contract between the Chinese broadcaster and the Santa Monica-based studio.
Hunan TV is the second-largest broadcaster in China after China Central Television or CCTV. The broadcaster is now trying to strengthen its presence in the U.S. market. Hunan’s investment is expected to cover about 25 percent of Lionsgate’s film production over the next three years. The deal, however, excludes the studio’s hit franchises like “Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “Twilight.” Lionsgate will also help Hunan TV distribute Chinese movies in other countries.
The deal is one among the several such agreements between U.S. studios and Chinese companies over the past few months. Back in 2014, Fosun International Ltd., which is Shanghai-based investment company, said that it will invest in Studio 8, a company started by Jeff Robinov who is the former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. Recently, online commerce giant Alibaba and LionsGate signed a deal to offer subscription streaming service in China.