The news was first reported Tuesday by The Information, which cited people familiar with the situation. The report also said that after 2021, Lionsgate expects to license the movies to its own cable channel Starz and its Starz streaming service.
MGM’s TV channel Epix previously held the rights to show Lionsgate films. Lionsgate’s slate in 2020 includes “I Still Believe,” the story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp, and Chris Rock’s untitled “Saw” spinoff.
The deal does not include the fourth John Wick movie, starring Keanu Reeves, which is covered by Lionsgate’s Summit label and was greenlit by the studio shortly after a surprisingly strong performance by “John Wick: Chapter 3.” Lionsgate has an output deal with HBO for its Summit content.
The bid for the rights was submitted before Disney completed its purchase on March 20 of Fox’s entertainment assets, which included FX and gave it control of Hulu.
It’s believed to be the first time that a streaming platform and basic cable network have teamed up for a theatrical output deal, reflecting the great demand for content. Starz reported 24.7 million overall domestic subscribers in the most recent quarter, up 1.2 million from the year-ago quarter, driven by strong over-the-top to more than 4 million subscribers.