Cinedigm And Wizard World Partner To Launch A Digital Comic Con Channel

The network will feature highly curated feature films, television episodes, web series, live panel conversations, original programming and an e-commerce component. Releasing widely on internet connected devices, the network will […]

The network will feature highly curated feature films, television episodes, web series, live panel conversations, original programming and an e-commerce component. Releasing widely on internet connected devices, the network will be accessible to Comic Con fans via mobile, tablets, gaming consoles, connected TVs and set top boxes.

Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) announced today it has partnered with Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) to create a direct-to-consumer, branded digital network targeted to Comic Con fans and curated with a wide array of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, action, adventure, gamer, anime, animation and comedy content, as well as an e-commerce retail destination featuring collectible and exclusive merchandise.

With Cinedigm’s vast library of over 33,000 films and TV episodes, 650 digital content partnerships and an acquisitions team sourcing new films, series and other original programming, the new network will provide Comic Con enthusiasts with year-round access to compelling content. Both free-to-consumer, advertising supported streaming, as well as a premium subscription option will be available, featuring exclusive access to the events, panels, talent, and fans that make the Comic Con experience so exciting.

Wizard World is the leading producer of live pop culture multimedia conventions across North America and will host 16 Wizard World Comic Con conventions in 2014, with a broader schedule planned for 2015. The conventions bring communities together to celebrate their favorite films, TV shows, celebrities, video games, technology, toys, social networking/gaming platforms, comic books and graphic novels. With an active database of over one million followers, and more than 250 million impressions on Twitter, Wizard World’s Comic Con fans are rabid entertainment enthusiasts, collectors and technology savants, ideally positioned to support a Comic Con-focused digital network.

“This is an exciting day for the fans of pop-culture around the country,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World’s CEO. “To have 24/7 access to all the content that Cinedigm and Wizard World collectively provide, at the touch of a button, provides tremendous value for our fans.”

The yet-to-be named channel will include films, TV episodes and web-originated programming targeted to 18-44 year old consumers, including titles from Cinedigm’s nearly 2,000 episode anime library. Wizard World has already started compiling top panels and talent from Comic Cons nationwide to premier on the network and will continue filming at upcoming Comic Cons across North America throughout the winter and spring. Fans can expect to see between 150-200 hours of new footage in 2014. Additionally, Wizard World is leveraging its more than 2,000 vendor, exhibitor and artist relationships to create an exclusive Comic Con shopping experience on the digital network for its collector fans.

Already, the quickly evolving digital entertainment ecosystem is demonstrating the staying power of digital video streaming. Game-changing digital networks are now bringing broadcast-quality TV experiences to audiences wherever and whenever they want to watch on the connected device(s) of their choice. Cinedigm’s first channel, DOCURAMA, launched as part of YouTube’s Paid Channel initiative in summer 2013, and is currently available on Roku, Xbox and Samsung, with additional platforms rolling out by April 2014. Leveraging its vast library of content and digital expertise, Cinedigm plans to launch a series of new branded digital channels over the next 18 months.

“We are excited to be diving further into this emerging, high growth business and have found an ideal partner in Wizard World for this Comic Con-targeted digital network,” said Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. “We are confident that the combination of their fan base, live event expertise, access to talent, audience focus and in-house production capabilities coupled with Cinedigm’s infrastructure, technology, content and distribution expertise, positions us for great success.”

The parties were advised on the partnership by ROAR, a Beverly Hills based entertainment management and consulting company.

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