Animal Planet, Lionsgate acquire “Million Dollar Duck”

The Discovery-owned cable net and the studio have picked up the rights to Slamdance documentary Million Dollar Duck for the U.S., Canada and the UK.
January 26, 2016

U.S. cable net Animal Planet and producer-distributor Lionsgate have picked up the documentary Million Dollar Duck via the Slamdance Film Festival.

The deal, which covers the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, will see Animal Planet handling television rights while Lionsgate has theatrical run, digital home entertainment and packaged media rights.

Animal Planet will air the doc this fall after it completes a limited theatrical run.

Directed by Brian Golden Davis and produced by Mark Jonathan Harris and Richard Prager, Million Dollar Duck follows six wildlife artists competing in the only juried art contest run by the U.S. government: the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

“From the moment I saw Million Dollar Duck, I knew Animal Planet would be the perfect home for this heartfelt and humorous film,” said Rich Ross, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel’s group president, in a statement. “Showcasing this film brings to light this special program that supports wetlands conservation and aligns with our network’s goal to activate people on animal welfare concerns.”

The deal expands Discovery’s relationship with Lionsgate. Last fall, Discovery and Liberty Global each acquired a 3.4% stake in the company. Lionsgate and Discovery also have a home entertainment distribution agreement under which Lionsgate distributes Discovery programming on packaged media in the U.S.

John Hoffman and Ryan Harrington negotiated the deal on behalf of Discovery Communications, while Eda Kowan and Lauren Freeman negotiated for Lionsgate, and Abby Davis and Adam Galen of Preferred Content acted on behalf of the filmmakers.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.