Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) maker of The Hunger Games, joined on Monday with Tribeca Enterprises, owner of the Tribeca Film Festival, to announce plans to begin an online film subscription service sometime in the first half of 2015. The digital offering, available on all the usual smart phone and tablets, will be called Tribeca Short List. A price for the offering has yet to be revealed.
Tribeca Short List follows Time Warner's (TWX) Oct. 15 bombshell announcement that it plans to roll out its popular HBO network as an online subscription in hopes of attracting viewers among the roughly 10 million homes that receive a broadband connection but don't subscriber to cable-TV. Time Warner also says it can entice viewers among the 70 million homes that subscribe to pay TV but have yet to embrace HBO.
A day later, CBS (CBS - Get Report) unveiled plans to start its own online subscription service. Sony (SNE - Get Report) said earlier this year that it is planning an Internet-based platform that will feature programming from Viacom (VIAB) , including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. DirecTV (DTV) , which is trying to gain government approval for a merger with AT&T (T - Get Report) , is another with online plans.
Santa Monica, Calif-based Lions Gate, which also owns the Twilight and Divergent franchinses, appears to have similar ambitions, if on a somewhat smaller and more refined scale.
The focus of Tribeca Short List is on quality rather than quantity. In other words, film buffs, festival followers and viewers who don't normally run out to see the latest installment of Iron Man or Despicable Me. Lions Gate isn't naming movies yet, so no word on whether its package will include Hunger Games. The idea here is to aggregate films for a more discerning audience.
The only question now is who will be next to join the online video movement. Shares of Lions Gate were up less than 1% to $30.27.