ZillionTV snares Lionsgate as studio partner

ZillionTV has added Lionsgate as a content provider as it attempts to set up a subscription-free OTT service; the company already has content deals with Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Zillion, which already has pushed back its commercial launch once (to the second half of 2010), said it is focusing on continued partnerships with CSPs, but also is working to set a direct-to-consumer model where Zillion TV isn't available through a CSP partner.

ZillionTV earlier this month laid off an estimate one-third of its staff and announced that CEO and founder Mitch Berman was stepping aside to concentrate on content deals, advertising and commercial partners. Telecom vet Jack Lawrence took over the CEO role.

ZillionTV said the news Lionsgate deal would include current feature film releases, TV programming and archival content, as well as content from its library of 12,000 motion picture and television titles in all three viewing methods offered through the ZillionTV Service. Included in the deal: television series such as Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Weeds, as well as recent box office hits such as Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, The Haunting In Connecticut, My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Rambo, available on the service either as pay-per-view or "buy to own."

In addition, a selection of catalog titles will be accessible as advertising-supported video-on-demand programs allowing ZillionTV viewers to watch these Lionsgate programs for free in exchange for watching a select set of ads at the start of the film.

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