Content Media Corporation is to distribute film and TV titles to the Chinese market, after signing a multi-part deal that will see it acquiring Beijing-based Seven Stars Media’s Alive Group of production and distribution companies.
The deal – which includes a direct equity investment by Seven Stars into Content - also allows Content to provide its producers with direct distribution opportunities into the Chinese market via Alive, which produces and distributes TV content for the Chinese market under its Alive TV brand. Content will also handle global distribution for certain Alive Group-owned rights.
Among the partnership’s first ventures are 10-hour martial arts reality show Team China for CCTV5 and the Chinese theatrical release of narrative drama Grace of Monaco, scheduled for a May release in China.
In addition to the acquisition, Seven Stars founder Dr. Bruno Wu has been named chairman of the Content board of directors, replacing non-executive chairman Huw Davies, who is stepping down. Seven Stars vice-chairman Alex Cherepakhov is also joining the Content board as non-executive director.
“Content’s worldwide production and distribution business will now include a wholly-owned subsidiary operating directly in the Chinese market,” said Content CEO John Schmidt in a statement. “The growth of the Chinese television market, the emergence of the OTT operators and explosive growth in Chinese box office revenue are all elements that make China the most compelling entertainment market in the world today.”
Wu added: “Content’s global distribution and production operations combined with our China business and Asia growth strategy makes for a unique and dynamic combination.”