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Lionsgate, Hemisphere Media Group Pact for Spanish-Language Streaming Service

Lionsgate’s upcoming SVOD service with Univision has added heft to its programming through a deal with Hemisphere Media Group.

Hemisphere, which owns Spanish-language pay TV and broadcast networks in the U.S. and Latin America, has signed on to supply content for the first Spanish-language movie streaming service aimed at the U.S. Hispanic market.

The still unnamed service expected to launch next year will feature Spanish-language hits from Pantelion Films, a Lionsgate-Televisa joint venture, and Hollywood pics from Lionsgate’s 16,000-title library and other catalogs dubbed into Spanish. The service will now include the Hemisphere movie library, one of the largest collections of modern-day Spanish-language blockbusters and high-profile titles from Mexico, Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean. The list includes “Nosotros Los Nobles,” one of the top all-time hits in Mexico, and ”Los Domirriqueños,” a hugely successful Puerto Rican and Dominican movie released this year.

As the first major Hollywood Latino Studio, Pantelion Films owns rights to more than 70% of the top-grossing films from Mexico over the past five years, including such blockbusters as Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included,” the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S., animated hit “Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos,” and Omar Chaparro-Martha Higareda comedy “No Manches Frida,“ a breakout hit in the U.S. and Mexico. The venture’s streaming platform will be the exclusive first SVOD and pay television window for Pantelion movies.

Univision Communications will lend its marketing and distribution expertise to the venture, offering the new service to cable and satellite operators individually, as well as coupled with its own Univision NOW, a subscription service for its broadcast networks Univision and UniMas. Univision will also license titles from its classic Latino cinema library to the new service.

“The addition of Hemisphere and its deep library of titles significantly expands the content offerings of a platform that is positioned to become the leading Spanish-language premium movie service in the U.S.,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.

Feltheimer previously worked with Hemisphere CEO Alan Sokol during their respective tenures at Sony Pictures Entertainment in the 1990s. Sokol was also COO of Telemundo during the period when Sony owned the Spanish-language network.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Lionsgate to help launch the definitive streaming service for the millions of Spanish-language movie lovers in the U.S., who traditionally over-index on media consumption,” said Sokol.

Hemisphere owns a clutch of networks that include Cinelatino, WAPA Puerto Rico, WAPA America, telenovela channel Pasiones, Centroamerica TV and Television Dominicana.

(Pictured: “Instructions Not Included”)

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