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Starz Inks Russian Pay TV, SVOD Deal with Akopov’s Amedia

Multi-year, multi-platform pact covers 'Black Sails,' 'The White Queen,' 'Magic City,' among other original series

LONDON — Starz Worldwide Distribution has inked a multi-year, multi-platform content licensing and distribution pact with Russia’s Amedia, which is backed by U.S. investor Len Blavatnik.

The Russian pay TV and SVOD operator, which was founded in 2002 by producer Alexander Akopov, has nabbed the rights to current and future Starz original series and other movie and TV content in Russia, Georgia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Under the output agreement, Amedia gains exclusive pay TV and SVOD rights in Russia, CIS and the Baltics to air Starz original series including “The White Queen,” “Magic City,” and “Black Sails,” the pirate drama from exec producer Michael Bay. The pact also gives Amedia access to future Starz original series over the lifetime of the agreement, including “Power.”

Amedia plans to air each episode of the original series the day after their respective U.S. premieres, starting with “Black Sails” (the U.S. premiere is on Jan. 25).

Other content included in the first year of the multi-year agreement includes the VH1 TV series “Hit the Floor,” TV movies (“Paper Heart,” “Revenge,” Stolen Child”), and documentaries (“Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible”).

Amedia’s pay TV channels, Amedia Premium HD and Amedia 1, and its SVOD platform, Amediateka, also carry premium TV content from other U.S. studios, including HBO, CBS/Showtime, Fox, Warner Bros., Sony and ABC Studios.

“An exclusive output deal with Starz — along with previously concluded output deals with HBO, CBS/Showtime and Fox — is a logical step to strengthen Amedia as the Russian home of premium TV content from leading international studios,” said Denis Gorshkov, VP of programming and acquisitions, Amedia TV.

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