06-Apr-2017 • Bond 25
MGM, who still haven't got a theatrical distribution arm and fumbled all last year with an attempted buyout by Chinese investors, managed to find over $1 billion of funding to buy out their partners in the Epix pay TV channel in the USA. Viacom and Lionsgate got $1.031 billion to give control to the lion.
Epix consists of four pay-tv channels in the USA, and as part of the deal, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate have committed first-runs of their new movies on the platform in a multi-year deal.
"The addition of Epix provides MGM with a premier distribution platform that complements our strong stable of new and library content in both film and television," Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM, said Wednesday in a statement.
Since MGM has shrunk in size and can't fund the budgets of major new films by itself, its revenues have skewed towards television production and milking its back-catalog. The Epix deal is another sign of where the studio's focus is.
Meanwhile, EON can't start production on Bond 25 until MGM find a co-financier and distributor for 007, or MGM sells it's 50% ownership of the Bond rights to someone else.