UPDATE 1-Lions Gate sees distribution windows ‘exploding’

* Lions Gate sees video-on-demand window evolving quickly

* Sees premium VOD window being accretive for industry

LOS ANGELES, June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Lions Gate Entertainment
Corp (LGF.N: ) said on Wednesday that offering films earlier than
usual through cable at premium prices could offer new
opportunities for revenue.

“We think this idea of variable premium pricing … is a
pretty smart way to create new windows, and we actually think
it will end up being accretive and should result in a large
overall revenue pie, so it is something that we will look at
very closely,” Lions Gate’s co-chief operating officer, Steve
Beeks, said on a conference call.

The studio, the target of a hostile takeover bid by
billionaire Carl Icahn, said its businesses are performing well
and reiterated its shareholders have demonstrated that Icahn’s
bid of $7 a share is inadequate. Fewer than 4 percent of
holders tendered their shares.

The studio, home to the “Saw” films and “Mad Men” television
series, reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss on
Tuesday.

Regarding the industry’s new distribution window efforts,
Time Warner executives said last week at an investor conference
that they too saw good opportunity and great customer demand
for a new premium video-on-demand window and were also watching
it closely.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Time
Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N: ) pitched the concept of “home theater
on demand” to Hollywood studios — a scenario in which cable
viewers could watch movies at home just 30 days after their
release to theaters, for about $20 to $30 per movie.

Movies are usually available for cable viewing about four
months after their theatrical release.

Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer agreed there
appeared to be new revenue opportunities to be gained through
changes and experimentation with the traditional distribution
windows.

“We think windows right now are really about to explode, and
really for content owners and distributors have really
significant improving margin possibilities,” he said.

Beeks noted, however, studios need to tread cautiously so as
to not alienate traditional partners like movie theater
operators.

“I do think of course there are risks, but I think it is
something — if you approach it smartly — I think you can
increase the pie and still protect your traditional partners,”
he said.

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(Reporting by Sue Zeidler; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

UPDATE 1-Lions Gate sees distribution windows ‘exploding’