Lionsgate & Saban Capital form joint venture for Tiger Gate

MUMBAI: Lionsgate and Saban Capital Group have formed an equal partnership joint venture to operate and manage Tiger Gate, an operator of pay television channels and a distributor of television programming and action and horror films across Asia.

Established by Lionsgate in partnership with William Pfeiffer and Paul Presburger in 2008, Tiger Gate currently operates the thriller/horror channel Thrill and the action channel Kix. The channels, which launched in Indonesia in August 2009, will launch in Hong Kong and Singapore on April 28th. Going forward, the Lionsgate/SCG joint venture will focus on expanding and strengthening Tiger Gate’s presence in Asia, as the two channels continue to rollout to other major markets in Asia. In addition to Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore, Tiger Gate also plans to expand their offerings to Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in the coming year. Plans for China, India, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the Middle East are also being discussed for the near future. The partners intend to leverage Tiger Gate as a platform to expand throughout Asia by launching additional channels and acquiring existing media assets in the region.

"We welcome Saban Capital Group as a partner and look forward to the talent and expertise their team will provide as we expand Tiger Gate into the world’s largest and fastest-growing market. They have an accomplished track record of success in the entertainment space. We are doing what we do best — focusing on large niches that play to our strengths. We are very excited to bring the Lionsgate brand to Asia," said Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer.

"We are thrilled to join Lionsgate in this attractive investment that will allow SCG to expand our global footprint and capitalize on high growth opportunities in the Asian market. Lionsgate’s vast portfolio of branded content, strong marketing skills and experienced leadership make them an ideal partner for this venture. Due to William Pfeiffer and Paul Presburger’s strong leadership, Tiger Gate is off to a strong start, and we are confident that, with the addition of Lionsgate’s content and marketing and our operational experience and financial strength, this venture will achieve sustainable, long-term success," said Saban Capital Group president and COO Adam Chesnoff.

"We are delighted that Saban Capital Group recognized our potential and has joined us in this exciting new venture. The power of the Lionsgate library, brand and content leadership and the track record of our joint venture partner give us confidence that we can realize our vision of quickly becoming one of the premier television channel operators and content distributors in the region. Our branded channels, and the marketing and programming expertise that support them, will distinguish themselves in the marketplace as a rich and diverse source of entertainment excitement across multiple platforms of distribution," added Pfeiffer.

The venture will continue to be run by Tiger Gate CEO William Pfeiffer and Lionsgate International executive Paul Presburger.

Backed by the resources of Lionsgate’s 12,000-title motion picture and television library, the venture will distribute the two branded channels across Asia as well as distributing a mix of Lionsgate films, locally produced content and third-party acquisitions across Asia. In addition, Tiger Gate will produce local feature film and television content designed to feed its channels.