[07/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
Lionsgate Expands Into Television Syndication Business, Acquires Debmar-Mercury

[via press release from Lionsgate]

Lionsgate Expands Into Television Syndication Business, Acquires Debmar-Mercury

Debmar-Mercury to Continue Operation as Wholly-Owned Subsidiary Leading Distributor Owns Distribution Rights to Comedy Central's SOUTH PARK Franchise, Tyler Perry's Original Comedy Series HOUSE OF PAYNE and Other Key Program Assets

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 12 -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, announced today that it has acquired top television distributor Debmar-Mercury LLC. Helmed by principals Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, the company will continue to operate under the Debmar-Mercury banner as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Debmar-Mercury is one of the top independent distributors of television programming and feature film packages in the industry. The company owns distribution rights to Comedy Central's blockbuster animated sitcom SOUTH PARK, the Lionsgate one-hour drama thriller THE DEAD ZONE, the Sci-Fi Channel's FARSCAPE series, produced by Hallmark Entertainment and the Jim Henson Company, and numerous other shows as well as two major feature film packages from Revolution Studios and a feature film package from Lionsgate.

Debmar-Mercury also recently completed a successful test of Tyler Perry's (DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION and the upcoming DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL) first-run, original comedy series HOUSE OF PAYNE with select major market stations representing a cross section of key station groups. Lionsgate's acquisition of Debmar-Mercury extends the company's relationship with Tyler Perry across not only feature film and video product but original television programming as well. The acquisition follows on the heels of Lionsgate's successful move into international feature film and library self-distribution through the October 2005 acquisition of UK-based distributor Redbus (subsequently renamed Lionsgate U.K.). It also creates a major new distribution portal for Lionsgate by giving the Company the capacity to syndicate its own television programming and feature film packages as well as creating a new television distribution revenue stream from third-party franchise properties.

"We again have the opportunity to combine our resources with a culturally similar, entrepreneurial company that is a leader in its market segment and whose principals we know well," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "Debmar-Mercury has become one of the leading independent distributors in the industry. With our fiscal 2007 slate of nine prime time television series, the acquisition of Debmar-Mercury's television distribution capabilities across new and traditional media outlets is a natural growth opportunity for our content business."

Feltheimer noted that the acquisition continues to further Lionsgate's game plan of broadening its distribution footprint and aggregating rights to important content and properties.

"We are delighted to expand our current relationship with Lionsgate, since combining their television content and feature film properties with our distribution expertise is a perfect strategic fit," said Marcus. "Lionsgate's willingness to finance us and allow us to continue to operate in an entrepreneurial manner was an important and attractive component of this agreement for us."

"This transaction provides us with a great platform to continue to grow our distribution business with the same entrepreneurial spirit that made us a success," said Bernstein.

Debmar-Mercury is already preparing the syndication launch of Lionsgate's thriller THE DEAD ZONE, which has just debuted in its fifth season on USA Network. Bernstein and Marcus each have more than 20 years' experience in television distribution. Bernstein formed his own company, Mercury Entertainment, and previously headed domestic distribution operations for Rysher Entertainment (THE HIGHLANDER) as well as serving as an international distribution executive for Lionsgate. Marcus, who founded Debmar Studios, was previously head of Buena Vista Television, the domestic television distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company.

Debmar-Mercury is a worldwide production and distribution media company specializing in network, cable, syndication, VOD/Pay-Per-View and Pay TV. The company was formed by the recent merger of Debmar Studios and Mercury Entertainment. In addition to its large catalogue of distribution rights, Debmar-Mercury also provides strategic assessments of market opportunities in the motion picture, home video, cable programming, VOD/Pay-Per-View and other television sectors.

Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio. Fresh off the Best Picture Academy Award (R) -winning CRASH, its second consecutive year grossing more than $300 million at the domestic box office and the recent unveiling of an upcoming slate of nine prime time television series, Lionsgate is a premier producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library of more than 5,000 titles is a valuable source of recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

SOURCE Lionsgate

  [july 2006]  


[11/30/15 - 12:54 PM]
"Kobe Bryant's Muse" to Re-Air on Showtime(R) Tomorrow Night as Part of the Network's Sports Line-Up
The film includes intimate and exclusive footage in the aftermath of Bryant's shoulder injury which ended his 2014-2015 season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

[11/30/15 - 12:32 PM]
CBS Announces Winter and Spring Scheduling Plans
Highlights include the launch of "Angel from Hell" on Thursday, January 7 at 9:30/8:30c.

[11/30/15 - 12:17 PM]
Premiere of Disney Junior's "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar" Is the #1 Primetime Cable TV Telecast of 2015 in Kids 2-5
Disney Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, November 22.

[11/30/15 - 11:33 AM]
Hulu's "Seinfeld: The Apartment" Fan Experience to Return in Los Angeles
"Seinfeld: The Apartment" will be located at 8445 Melrose Ave. and will be open to the public from December 16th - 20.

[11/30/15 - 11:32 AM]
ABC Family Announces Fourth Season Pick-up of Hit Drama Series, "The Fosters"
The critically acclaimed family drama will premiere all-new episodes from the third season on Monday, January 25.

[11/30/15 - 11:06 AM]
Bravo Media Walks Down the Aisle with Four New Couples in the Super-Sized Season Three Premiere of "Newlyweds: The First Year" January 3 at 9PM ET/PT
The series will then regularly air Wednesdays at 10:00/9:00c beginning January 6.

[11/30/15 - 11:00 AM]
Disney XD Orders a Third Season of Hit Animated Series "Star Wars Rebels"
To date, "Star Wars Rebels" ranks as Disney XD's #2 series in Total Viewers (1.3 million), Kids 6-11, Boys 6-11 and Boys 2-11.

[11/30/15 - 10:05 AM]
E! Announces Season 4 of Hit Series "#RichKids of Beverly Hills" to Debut in 2016
Morgan Stewart and Brendan Fitzpatrick are ready to tie the knot and are taking E!'s cameras along for the luxurious ride.

[11/30/15 - 09:18 AM]
Video: VH1's "Love & Hip Hop New York" Season Six Supertrailer
Season six kicks off Monday, December 14 at 8:00/7:00c on the cable channel.

[11/30/15 - 09:04 AM]
CMT to Honor the Cast of "Nashville" with First-Ever "International Impact Award" Live During "2015 CMT Artists of the Year" Special on December 2 at 8PM ET/PT
Cast members Connie Britton, Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Will Chase, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Maisy Stella, Lennon Stella and Audrey Peeples are slated to accept the award on behalf of the entire cast.

[11/30/15 - 09:02 AM]
All the Legends Are True in the ABC Family Series Premiere of "Shadowhunters" on Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 - 10:00 P.M., EST/PST
Plus: "Beyond the Shadows: The Making of Shadowhunters" will give fans of The Mortal Instruments book series a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of the television show.

[11/30/15 - 09:01 AM]
CBS Announces Two Super Bowl Specials
"Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials 2016" and "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials All-Star Countdown" are both on tap for February.

[11/30/15 - 08:58 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts with "Sunday Night Football"
The Peacock easily wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[11/30/15 - 08:58 AM]
ABC Is the Most Watched Network in Late-Night for the 3rd Week Running
ABC spins the late-night numbers for the week of November 16-20.

[11/30/15 - 08:21 AM]
"Dateline NBC" Correspondent Keith Morrison Joins Investigation Discovery as New Host of "Dateline on ID" and Exclusive "Front Page" Specials
"Keith will bring his distinctive newsmagazine flair and reputation as a trusted news source to tell these stories to ID's audience as only he can with his incredibly unique and arresting delivery," said Henry Schleiff.