Kino Lorber acquires First Look streamer Topic, forms joint venture

Arctic Circle

US distribution firm Kino Lorber has acquired a majority stake in First Look Media streamer Topic, with the two companies forming a joint venture to house the service alongside Kino Lorber’s MHz Choice.

The new company will now operate both services, with Kino Lorber assuming management oversight of the combined entity.

Topic is home to titles including Danish crime drama The Killing (aka Forbrydelsen) and Nordic series Arctic Circle, while MHz Choice is dedicated to international series and carries titles such as A French Village and Detective Montalbano.

Kino Lorber took control of MHz Choice in November, when it acquired parent company MHz Networks, which was at the time Kino Lorber’s largest expansion into the streaming marketplace.

The Killing

Management structure

The Richard Lorber-led firm will take management oversight of the new JV service, including across programming, marketing and technology, which will be overseen by MHz Networks founder Frederick Thomas.

Topic general manager Ryan Chanatry and Jennifer Liang, who oversaw acquisitions for the streaming service, will consult through the transition period. Kino Lorber SVOD services are overseen by chief strategy officer Ed Carroll, the former AMC Networks veteran who joined the company earlier this year.

Programming for both Topic streaming and MHz Choice will meanwhile be overseen by Lance Schwulst, SVP of content strategy for MHz Networks.

“As North American audiences embrace entertainment from around the world, we’re proud to now be the home for the two best-in-class streaming services for international series and films,” said Kino Lorber president and CEO Richard Lorber.

Read Next