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Lionsgate, Sony Liv Sign Multi-Year Content Deal in India

Lionsgate India and Indian streamig platform Sony Liv have signed a multi-year content deal. More than 500 hours of premium English-language content will be available as a Lionsgate Play branded block on Sony Liv.

Original series being made available to Indian audiences include “Power,” “Vida,” “Sweetbitter,” “The White Queen,” “The White Princess,” and “The Spanish Princess.” Library titles under the partnership include “Crash,” “Manhattan,” “Wildfire,” “Are We There Yet?,” and “Chasing Life.”

“Some of these shows have a massive fan following in whichever market we’ve taken them to,” Rohit Jain, managing director of Lionsgate India, told Variety. “Over the last few years we’ve seen Indian audiences, fairly evolved audiences, they are up to speed in their content consumption habits, and I’m pretty sure that some of these shows will build up a fan following in India as well, with the kind of reach Sony Liv has.”

Liv, which was the first OTT service to launch in India, in 2013, reached 5 million active users per month in December 2017, according to Counterpoint Research. That number went up exponentially when Liv streamed the soccer world cup, peaking at 70 million active users over June and July. “We are currently running at about 35-40 million,” Uday Sodhi, executive VP & head digital for Sony Pictures Networks India, told Variety.

That number places Liv second only to 21st Century Fox’s Hotstar streaming service that has more than 75 million users. Like Hotstar, Liv operates on the “freemium” model, offering both free content and subscriber-only shows. Rates begin from as little as $1.34 a month, or $4 for six months, or $6.78 for a year.

“This is a very exciting market, we are looking at maybe 500-600 million users three years from now,” said Sodhi. “There is significant headroom for us to grow and build a franchise.”

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