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.
Cinedigm is the leading independent content distributor in the United States, with direct relationships with over 60,000 physical stores and digital retailers, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon, as well as the national Video On Demand platform on cable television. The company’s library of over 32,000 titles and episodes encompasses award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen Indies from Flatiron Film Company®, acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Films and a wide range of content from brand name suppliers, including National Geographic, Discovery, Scholastic, WWE, NFL, Shout Factory, Hallmark, Jim Henson and more.
Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp www.cinedigm.com. [CIDM-G]
ABOUT WIZARD WORLD
Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) is the leading provider of multiple Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across the world that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, celebrities, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels and costume contests.
The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.
Wizard World 2014 Schedule:
January 24-26 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
February 7-9 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
March 7-9 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con
2015 schedule to be announced.