SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, BC, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move underscoring the growth of the Company's content licensing to digital and VOD platforms around the world, Thomas Hughes has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Worldwide Digital Distribution, it was announced today by Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer, to whom Mr. Hughes will continue to report. Mr. Packer noted that Mr. Hughes will work closely with Lionsgate international television executive Peter Iacono to continue to grow the Company's digital and VOD opportunities in the global marketplace.
Mr. Hughes oversees sales and distribution for all of Lionsgate's businesses in the on demand and digital arena, including multichannel video providers and more than 25 digital retailers. He will also continue to manage business development opportunities created by the rapid emergence of digital platforms worldwide, including mobile platforms and apps, as well as other new and emerging technologies. Mr. Hughes played an instrumental role in Lionsgate becoming the first outside studio to license content to Comcast as part of the MSO's entry into the electronic sell-through space, and he has negotiated expanded global content licensing deals with digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon and xBox as they enter new territories around the world. "Our licensing of film and television content to digital and on demand platforms around the world is an area of explosive growth, and Thomas will help spearhead our team's initiatives in capitalizing on emerging opportunities throughout the global marketplace," said Mr. Packer. "As digital platforms help drive international growth, he will continue to work closely with Peter Iacono in identifying and executing innovative strategies for meeting demand from an expanding spectrum of buyers worldwide." Mr. Hughes, who previously served as Lionsgate's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Digital, played a key role in the highly successful launch of the first two installments of the global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise on digital and on demand platforms, and he has also shepherded the Company's exploration of new windowing strategies, including the day-and-date theatrical/VOD releases of the films Arbitrage and Margin Call. Mr. Hughes joined Lionsgate in March 2011 after serving as Vice President of Worldwide Digital at MGM for three years. He has more than 25 years of diversified media experience including digital distribution, sales and marketing and television production, with a major focus on innovating new business models for content creation in the digital marketplace. Early in his career, Mr. Hughes served as a personal and production assistant to Emmy Award-winning producer, director, and choreographer Kenny Ortega on projects like Michael Jackson's Bad Tour and Dirty Dancing (TV). He began his media career in local television news at WIS TV (NBC) while attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. ABOUT LIONSGATE Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 34 television shows on 22 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed series Orange is the New Black. Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions' Mud and Pantelion Films' breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S. Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.