Avail-TVN expands content offerings in deal with Relativity Media

Last November, Avail-TVN announced a two-year plan to invest $30 million into its business, looking to increase the quality and quantity of content available, expand its infrastructure and provide more efficient service to its more than 300 content-and service-provider customers.

A new deal announced Monday is one indication that investment already is starting to pay dividends.

Avail-TVN said it's been granted rights to license and distribute Relativity Media's new release and library movies on VOD and Pay-Per-View for multiplatform environments and hotels.

Relativity Media is responsible for about 200 motion pictures; its released films have accumulated more than $15 billion in worldwide box office receipts and include Limitless, The Fighter, and the upcoming Immortals. Thirty-six of the company's films have opened to No. 1 at the box office, and 55 of Relativity's films have each generated more than $100 million in worldwide box-office receipts.

Avail-TVN has already begun to distribute some of those titles, including Relativity Media's first VOD residential releases including Skyline and I Love You Phillip Morris. Upcoming titles that will be available from Relativity Media through Avail-TVN include Biutiful, The Warrior's Way, Season of the Witch, Take Me Home Tonight and Limitless.

"Relativity Media and Avail-TVN share the objective of making content available to as many consumers as possible on any platform," said Christine Manna, senior vice president of On Demand Licensing for Relativity Media. "The breadth of Avail-TVN's reach allows us to easily expand our scope, reaching more viewers, on their own terms."

For its part, Avail-TVN said the deal brings it a studio that "has been involved with some of the most talked-about and honored studio films in recent years," said Doug Sylvester, chief strategy officer at Avail-TVN. "By offering Relativity Media films across a range of distribution platforms and screens-from TV to PC to IP-connected device-Avail-TVN is giving affiliates and consumers what they want: greater access to highly valued content."

In November, Avail-TVN CEO Ramu Potarazu said the Reston, Va.-based company has steadily been increasing the amount of HD and 3D content available to it service-provider customers. So far this year, the company has increased the amount of HD content available by more than 130 percent and began rolling out MPEG-4 linear video services with cable MSOs throughout North America.

"We're hearing what the marketplace is saying; we're seeing what's happening with TV Anywhere and with Netflix and Hulu and other services that service providers have to be aware of," he said. "The three-screen TV Anywhere approach has got to be able to be successful, on your PC, iPad, on your mobiles. It's almost intuitive. Our expansion is a little bit of a bet on our part, but we're doing it through trials, it's not an all-in bet."

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