In a bid to strengthen its subscription VOD (SVoD) service, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)-owned video on demand (VoD) platform SonyLIV has inked multi-year strategic deal with American entertainment giant Lionsgate. As part of the partnership, the two companies have launched Lionsgate Play premium offering on SonyLIV to roll out with over 500 hours of Lionsgate premium original series. The content offering includes hits like Power, Vida, Sweetbitter, The White Queen, The White Princess, and the eagerly-anticipated The Spanish Princess along with popular Lionsgate library titles such as Crash, Manhattan, Wildfire, Are We There Yet? and Chasing Life. The Lionsgate Play will be available to SonyLIV’s SVoD subscribers under three subscription plans including Rs 99 for a month, Rs 299 for six months and Rs 499 for a year. Commenting on the partnership, SPNI business head – digital Uday Sodhi said that this partnership will help SonyLIV to strengthen its subscription product. SonyLIV has a strong presence in sports, TV shows and originals. The addition of Lionsgate content will boost its international content library. The deal will also allow the american entertainment giant to strengthen its presence in the Indian market. The content producer had made its full-fledged entry into the Indian market last year, by inking a long-term exclusive deal Amazon Prime Video India. Lionsgate India MD Rohit Jain said, “Our collaboration is the latest milestone in elevating our brand in India, and we’re delighted to kick off our partnership with a robust portfolio of Lionsgate programming. Sony India as a media house has a legacy of bringing cutting-edge entertainment to Indian audiences, making them the perfect choice for us to bring to the Indian audience some of our most successful premium English content. This is a great starting point for the two companies and we are excited about the journey ahead of us.” Some of the Lionsgate content will be exclusive to SonyLIV. However, there will also be duplication of some content due to the existing licensing deals between Lionsgate with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. “We create a large amount of content and we have got 90 shows running across 40 different networks. However, this partnership is focused on top-rated series and we have shortlisted some very interesting mix of popular and recently launched shows for SonyLIV. We do a lot of content with other networks and platforms but this is us offering our content and launching ourselves,” Jain said. In 2019, SonyLIV’s will be focusing on offering more original content across regional languages like Marathi, Hindi and South Indian. The platform will also be boosting the English content library with a new batch of shows from Lionsgate Play. It is also planning to strengthen its original content offering through the networks recently launched content creation arm Studio NXT.
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