Deal aims to make Chinese, international pics available via VOD platforms
Jiaflix Enterprises has pacted with China Movie Channel’s web subsidiary M1905 to stream Chinese and international feature films through both SVOD and transactional VOD services throughout China, inking their first deal with Paramount.New system will start in the fourth quarter of this year and will have the option for a pay-per-view service as well. Venture was announced at a press conference Thursday held by Jiaflix and M1905 in Beverly Hills. Jiaflix principal Marc Ganis stated that the new service would be offered across an array of platforms, including iPhones and Tablets, and noted that the “long-term” agreement would last “at least” 15 years. “Our focus here is to get it right, not necessarily be fastest or quickest to market,” Ganis said. Conference also announced that the pact would include anti-piracy efforts, but did not elaborate on how. Piracy has long been a concern to bizzers looking to break into the Chinese marketplace, and is often been blamed for the lack of a home video business in the country. Thursday’s deal marks the latest move to bring content to Chinese consumers in a legitimate way. Last year, M1905 partnered with Youku, an online video site (a site similar to YouTube, which is banned in China), to allow on-demand viewings of Jiang Wen’s B.O. smash “Let the Bullets Fly.” Ganis also mentioned that the new service would be fee-based, not advertiser driven, and will operate out of mainland China. Exec noted that the sale of between 14 and 18 million flat-screens in China per year indicates the Chinese appetite for film and video content in the home. Deal with Paramount includes both titles from the studio’s library as well as future films. China Movie Channel is China’s largest television buyer of international films and has agreements with many Hollywood studios to bring their content to the mainland. Jiaflix was founded by Ganis and his cousin Sid Ganis, the former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prexy and a former exec at Par and Columbia/TriStar, and entrepreneur Kenneth Huang. Company aims to develop ventures that help bridge the Chinese and U.S. film industries. “The China film industry is just as old as the (American) film industry,” said Sid Ganis. “None of this would happen … if not for the art form.”
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