Roku gets exclusive rights to stream Lionsgate feature films

Roku today signed a multiyear theatrical output deal with Lionsgate, enabling the connected TV provider to exclusively stream Lionsgate’s theatrically released films. Lionsgate movies will be available on the Roku Channel after they initially premiere on Starz, the studio’s subsidiary network.

It marks the Roku Channel's first theatrical output deal. 

Roku will kick off the agreement by releasing a batch of Lionsgate’s 2022 movie lineup, including “Expendables 4,” “Borderlands” and “White Bird: A Wonder Story.” Exclusive to Roku, it will be the first time titles are available for free anywhere.

Jim Packer, president of worldwide TV distribution at Lionsgate, said in a statement the deal with Roku “affirms the great demand for first-run studio movies across a broad array of platforms.”

“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,” he said.

The agreement illustrates a paradigm shift in the film industry’s approach to theatrical windows. Pre-Covid, movies typically played in theaters for roughly three months before being widely released on streaming, DVD and other platforms. Distributors are now testing the waters with different timeframes for theatrical windows. Paramount has settled on a 45-day theatrical window, while HBO Max last year signed a one-year agreement to stream Warner Bros. movies on the same day they are released in theaters.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with our longstanding partner Lionsgate to provide our audience with exclusive first-time, free access to Lionsgate’s theatrical slate,” said Rob Holmes, VP of programming at Roku. “This innovative approach creates value for both parties, and most importantly provides the millions of streamers on the Roku Channel with the opportunity to enjoy these compelling titles via this unique window.”

Snagging Lionsgate streaming rights marks a productive month for Roku’s licensing agreements. Roku also renewed its streaming deal with Amazon earlier this month.