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Roku to add Lionsgate films to free streaming channel

(Startup animation by Roku, interactive animation by The Desk)

Streaming platform Roku has landed the exclusive rights to stream films and TV shows from Lionsgate as part of a new deal announced on Tuesday.

Under the deal, the free, ad-supported streaming service Roku Channel will offer Lionsgate content after the movies and shows complete a limited run on the premium movie network Starz.

The deal covers new theatrical releases starting this year. Films that are included in the deal include those under the “John Wick” brand as well as “The Expendables 4” and “Borderlands.”

“This agreement affirms the great demand for first-run studio movies across a broad array of platforms,” Jim Packer, the executive in charge of worldwide distribution at Lionsgate, said in a statement. “This partnership with The Roku Channel shows our ability to capitalize on opportunities in today’s complex television landscape with a multifaceted, layered approach that meets everyone’s needs.”

Roku executives called the deal an “innovative approach for both parties.” It is the first theatrical deal for Roku, according to the website Fierce Video.

“[The deal], most importantly, provides the millions of streamers on The Roku Channel with the opportunity to enjoy these compelling titles via this unique window,” Rob Holmes, an executive in charge of programming at Roku, said in a statement.

The Roku Channel is free to access on all supported Roku devices, including the company’s line of budget-friendly streaming devices and sticks. A version of the free, ad-supported streamer is also available for Amazon Fire TV users and through the Roku app for smartphones and tablets.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).