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Alibaba set-top boxes to stream Lionsgate films, such as 'Twilight' and 'Hunger Games'

E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba Group has entered into a partnership with US studio Lionsgate Entertainment Corp as the company takes a further step into the digital entertainment sector ahead of its initial public offering in the US next month.

The US production studio will launch a subscription streaming service through Alibaba's Internet television set-top boxes. It will gives viewers access to a number of blockbusters including the  "Twilight Saga" and "The Hunger Games" series, according to a joint statement today. Other TV shows including "The Royals", "Nashville" and "Mad Men" will also be streamed on Alibaba's platform.

"We're pleased to collaborate with Alibaba, and the launch of our streaming service in China underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to digital platforms around the world," Lionsgate chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer said in the statement.

"The cooperation signals our ongoing commitment to advance our vision of making digital media entertainment available to our customers anywhere, anytime," said Liu Chunning, president of Alibaba Group's digital entertainment business unit.

The service will be available on the next generation of Alibaba's set-top box starting early next month, and viewers will also have access to a number of exclusive trailers and behind-the-scenes extras.

Last month, Alibaba completed a 60 percent stake investment in Hong Kong-listed ChinaVision Media Group, as it expands its influence in the culture and entertainment industry.

In April, Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma and other partners paid US$1.05 billion for a 20 percent stake in Wasu Media Holding Co to deepen collaboration on online content and Internet TV. The company has been aiming to combine its huge amount of e-commerce data from consumers' online shopping behavior with the cultural and entertainment industry.


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