StudioCanal signs Chinese SVOD deals

Leading European film company StudioCanal has signed separate SVOD deals with Chinese internet companies Youku Tudou and BesTV.

In the deal with Youku Tudou, StudioCanal has signed a multi-year SVOD contract for more than 50 library titles including About A Boy, Attack The Block, The Pianist and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The StudioCanal library contains more than 5,000 world cinema titles, hailing mainly from Europe but also from the US and Asia.

“This agreement will give the Chinese audience access to a film offering that is different from the Chinese and American films that dominate the market,” said Matthieu Zeller, StudioCanal’s EVP for international marketing, distribution & business development.

YoukuTudou senior vice president Allen Zhu said: “We’re excited to work with StudioCanal to bring great movies to the Chinese audience via the web. This deal will undoubtedly strengthen our offering.”

He noted that revenues for the company’s subscription service had grown 379% year on year in the second quarter of 2014.

The deal was negotiated by Mathieu Gondinet, SVP for international TV and library distribution for StudioCanal and Angela Xiong, executive director of Movie Center for Youku Tudou.

The BesTV deal comprised “several dozen” classic and contemporary films from the StudioCanal library, the companies said in a joint statement.

BesTV CEO Mingcheng Tao noted the deal marked a significant move for the company into European content. “BesTV is happy to introduce more films to its platforms from different parts of world,” he said.

The deal was negotiated by StudioCanal’s Gondinet and Peiyi Jiang, head of international acquisitions for BesTV.

BesTV is a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group (SMG). Its main businesses include Internet protocol television (IPTV), home entertainment, OTT set-top boxes, network video, mobile television, smart television, multimedia production and digital media platform design and construction.

According to the company, its SVOD subscribers currently number some 20 million.