Executives focused on Film/TV acquisitions and distribution to further China/North America content strategy
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) announced today they have created two new full-time positions based in China to further the Company’s efforts to increase the bilateral distribution of content and OTT streaming channels to China and North America. Kenny Miao, and Chun Chen, Cinedigm’s China Representatives, both played important consulting roles with Cinedigm over the past year as the Company began its aggressive expansion into China/North America content distribution. The China focus follows a significant investment in Cinedigm from leading Chinese private equity firm Bison Capitol and a subsequent strategic partnership with Starrise Media, an important Chinese content distribution player. With these two key players now on board as full-time executives, Cinedigm will have the complete benefit of Miao and Chen’s important input and expertise with content acquisitions, business processes, high level relationships and deal making in China.
Chun Chen has over two decades of experience working in the entertainment and communications fields, including at China's State Council Information Office, Chinadaily.com.cn, and China Center for International Communication Studies. Kenny Miao attended McGill University and the New York Film Academy, has been project manager with a major consumer electronics firm and has been involved in Chinese film and TV production for several years. Both executives have worked closely with Starrise Media and Bison Capital in China.
“It is no mystery that China represents the fastest growing media market in the world, but it is also often complicated to effectively navigate the unique business traditions and regulatory process there,” said Bill Sondheim, President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group. “Cinedigm has accomplished a great deal in China over the past year in large part due to the business expertise and understanding of key content attributes and requirements that we have gained through working with these local, experienced, connected and talented executives. We are thrilled to have them both join Cinedigm as full time executives.”
Cinedigm has already had success forging strategic relationships with China’s leading content producers and distributors, and the Company has already closed several key deals, with these hires expected to expedite additional efforts.
Following a majority investment by leading Chinese private equity firm Bison Capital in late 2017, Cinedigm announced a strategic alliance with leading Chinese entertainment company Starrise Media Holdings Limited (“Starrise Media”) to release films in China theatrically and to digital platforms there. Reciprocally, that alliance also paved the way for Cinedigm distribution of Chinese films in the North American marketplace. In addition to selectively releasing quality films theatrically, the Starrise strategic venture contemplates the release of hundreds of films into the home entertainment marketplaces in China and North America, with particular focus on digital platforms. In addition, the two companies are evaluating opportunities to jointly produce Chinese/American film co-productions to take further advantage of this groundbreaking alliance. Miao and Chun will be based in the Starrise offices in Beijing.
Last week, Cinedigm announced a partnership with Youku to distribute 30 original Chinese feature films in North America on all platforms including digital, physical DVD’s and BluRays, and across all OTT platforms, with a primary focus on major streaming platforms and niche outlets. The films will also be included in the recently announced China-focused North American OTT channel, Bambu, which Cinedigm is launching next year.
Earlier this year, the Company announced that it has partnered with Mark Yellen Productions and Rosenbloom Entertainment to produce a multi-season, programmatic series about renowned feminist and adventurer Emily Hahn, the prolific literary author who introduced exotic Shanghai and greater China to US audiences through her articles published in the New Yorker Magazine in the 1930s. The production will be available to US, International and China outlets and reinforces Cinedigm’s strong and expanding relationships in China. Currently, the group is bringing the series to showrunners, writers, and directors and expects to be in production in 2019. With plans to shoot on location in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the producers will take full advantage of Shanghai’s iconic Bund waterfront, which has one the richest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world.
Other deals that Cinedigm is finalizing include the broad license of current hit TV shows and movies from CITVC, the International Licensing arm of CCTV, China’s largest broadcaster. The Company is also finalizing deals with Shanghai Media Group, the largest Regional Production and Broadcaster in China, as well as CICC (China Intercontinental Communication Center) and expects to provide details of those agreements over the next several weeks.
Additionally, during the Beijing International Film Festival earlier this year, Cinedigm announced Chinese entertainment business cooperation agreements between Cinedigm and several new Chinese partners, including V1.CN, Ling He Culture Media (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Youth Studio, and Emei Studio Group Co. Ltd. Following the festival, Cinedigm also signed a “Belt and Road Media” Cooperation Union with CICC whereby the companies agreed to work together to encourage film and television productions, to build a “belt and road” broadcasting network and to improve the quality and prosperity of the media industry in both our countries. Bambu is expected to be a key component of that effort.
For twenty years, Cinedigm has been at the forefront of the digital transformation of entertainment. Today, Cinedigm continues that mission by providing content, channels and services to the world’s largest media, technology and retail companies. Our content aggregation and distribution services power the world’s leading digital platforms and retailers. Cinedigm’s Digital Networks group provides channels and services that entertain consumers globally across hundreds of millions of devices. For more information about our content, channels and services, visit www.cinedigm.com.
Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Corp. www.cinedigm.com.
Press Contact for CIDM:
Jill Newhouse Calcaterra
Source: Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.