Lionsgate’s TV production revenues fall by 59% as US strikes impact studio

Yellowjackets

Lionsgate has felt the impact of the US strikes in its Q3 results, with television production revenues falling by more than half compared with last year.

The results, which come ahead of Lionsgate’s planned split with Starz into two entities, saw its revenue from producing TV shows falling 59% from $605m to $285m, while profits fells from $71.5m to a little over $8m.

Lionsgate said the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes were to blame for the decline, with the impact also hitting its talent management firm 3 Arts.

CEO Jon Feltheimer said he expected Lionsgate would release “approximately 40 multi-platform and direct-to-streaming titles” this year, as well as “12 wide theatrical releases”.

Jon Feltheimer

Lionsgate’s slate includes Spartacus for Starz and a slew of shows in production gained from its acquisition of Entertainment One, including Yellowjackets and The Rookie.

Lionsgate’s expanding revenue streams

The $375m acquisition of Yellowjackets firm eOne has handed the US studio control of a 6,500-hour content library, as well as scripted shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds and Designated Survivor.

It is also creating a new unscripted division that will house Pilgrim Media Group and the factual units from eOne, with the expansion away from pure scripted providing opportunity, according to Feltheimer.

“Ten years ago, nearly all of our television profits came from our core premium scripted business,” he said during a call with analysts.

“Today, our contributions are spread across scripted, unscripted, talent management, syndication and international productions, enabling us to navigate downturns in any one part of the business.

“It’s one of the reasons we’re continuing to track toward record television group segment profit this year despite the strike and several series cancellations.”

The studio said its media networks unit, which houses streamers and US cablenet Starz, saw revenue rise to $417m, up 10% on last year. Streaming subscribers to its Starz service were up by 700,000 to hit 13.43 million in North America.

Much of its revenue growth was driven by the motion picture division, which reported a 53% rise to $443m and a 31% surge in profits, largelt because of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Overall, Lionsgate saw a loss of $107m in Q3 and a total revenue of $975m, slightly missing estimates and last year’s total of $1bn.

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