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CEO Martin Kugeler: What the Lionsgate partnership deal means for Stan

Stan has entered a major new Stan Originals development partnership with Hollywood studio Lionsgate to deliver worldwide outside Australia.

The new development agreement builds on Stan’s existing partnership with Lionsgate, with Stan last year extending its separate content output agreement with Lionsgate for a raft of new and exclusive US dramas.

Stan CEO, Martin Kugeler told Mumbrella: “We have had a great partnership with Lionsgate and Starz for many years, with an output deal in place with licensed content, and that has now extended into a development partnership. What it means for Stan, is that we are working with a content creator that is known for world-class content together to develop Stan Originals for our audience and it also means it gives us access to great creators over in Hollywood. People who really see what we have done with our Stan Originals from the summer, The Tourist, Wolf Like Me, or Gold, they’re equally excited to work with us because they’ve seen our premium content, and that premium content that we develop and produce, is not only strong for Australian audiences, but also strong from audiences globally.

He added: “Traditionally, we had 4 to 5 Stan originals per year on Stan, and we’ve already doubled that output in FY202 to 10. 10 is the size of a large output deal to give you that context, and we will again be doubling that amount to 20 in FY2023. That is the equivalent of two significant output deals that we will create for Stan Originals. This is also all consistent with the strategy that we set out last year, that we wanted to grow our Stan Originals by 30% of our first-run exclusive slate, which is a very important component, because it gives us greater control of our content, and also makes us less reliant on content supply from Hollywood.”

The deal was orchestrated for Lionsgate by Kapouranis and senior vice president of international TV acquisitions & co-productions, Marc Lorber. Chief content officer, Cailah Scobie, head of scripted, Amanda Duthie and head of business affairs, Cymbeline Johnson, negotiated the deal on behalf of Stan.

Stan’s development partnership with Lionsgate will see the development of a brand new slate of Stan Originals, including the megachurch family drama series Prosper, drama series The Geography of Friendship and outback comedy crime series Population: 11.

Stan also announced last week it is launching a major new original documentary slate: Revealed, cementing Stan and the 9Network’s collaborative partnership. The slate will see world-class journalists and producers from Nine’s 60 Minutes, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and the independent sector produce landmark Stan Original Documentaries under Stan’s Revealed banner.

Stan chief content officer, Cailah Scobie, said: “This expanded partnership with Lionsgate, one of the world’s most prestigious studios, will see Stan bolster its production capability as we continue to deliver more world-class, Australian made Stan Originals to our subscribers. We look forward to working with Lionsgate and some of Australia’s most sought after creatives to develop these outstanding new series.”

Lionsgate president, international television and digital distribution Agapy Kapouranis, said: “Stan has been an incredible partner to Lionsgate and we’re eagerly looking forward to our new development venture. We already have an exciting lineup of new originals in the works with renowned Australian producers, storytellers and talent. These series reflect a diverse mix of drama, comedy and mystery and are just the tip of the iceberg of a robust pipeline of premium content we’ll create together for a global audience.”

Acting head of Screen NSW David Gordon, said: “Screen NSW has a long history of supporting the local industry to deliver on a global scale, and we’re thrilled to support Stan as it joins forces with Hollywood studio Lionsgate to develop a slate of new productions, in our own backyard. This initiative is especially rewarding and will see the development of two blockbuster projects come to life, drama series Prosper, and outback thriller series Population: 11, and we can’t wait for audiences to see these series when they premiere on Stan.”

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