Kino Lorber and First Look Media Enter Into New Streaming Joint Venture
New company will be the home for two best-in-class SVOD services – MHz Choice and Topic streaming – for international series and films, including popular European dramas, mysteries, crime & thrillers
Kino Lorber will manage MHz Choice and Topic streaming
Award-winning international film distribution company Kino Lorber and First Look Media announced today that they are forming a new joint venture to house both First Look’s Topic streaming service and Kino Lorber’s MHz Choice. The new company will now operate both Topic streaming and MHz Choice, with Kino Lorber owning the majority stake and assuming management oversight of both.
Topic streaming service features such popular titles as the original versions of The Killing and The Bridge, as well as the Nordic series Arctic Circle. It joins Kino Lorber's other SVOD service MHz Choice, the leading U.S. streamer dedicated to international series including A French Village and Detective Montalbano, which the company acquired in November 2022.
Kino Lorber will assume management oversight of the service, including 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. Programming for both Topic streaming and MHz Choice will be overseen by Lance Schwulst, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy for MHz Networks. Vice President of Marketing for Topic streaming Monica Bloom will join the new company and serve as Chief Marketing Officer for both services.
“We’re excited to partner with First Look Media and build on the strong SVOD brand they have created with Topic streaming. 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. “This is a key strategic investment for Kino Lorber that will strengthen Topic streaming and MHz Choice in their complementarity and create new synergies with our world class film business.”
“Ryan and his team identified the perfect niche in Crime & Thriller and built one of the most exciting streaming services available today,” said Michael Bloom, CEO, First Look Media. “We’re excited to partner with Kino Lorber, with its commitment to premium international programming, in this new joint venture, firmly positioning ourselves in the growing market of specialty streaming services.
Topic is the criminally good streaming service from First Look for thrillers, mysteries, dramas and documentaries from around the world, serving viewers who crave entertainment beyond the mainstream. Whether it’s a Nordic-noir crime thriller (The Killing), an Italian supernatural drama (Christian), or a haunting true crime docu-series from the UK (The Missing Children), Topic expands your view of the world. Featuring North American premieres, exclusive TV series and films, and programming from more than 40 countries, Topic showcases an unparalleled collection of creators, perspectives and experiences. Complemented by Topic Originals, we prioritize bold storytelling and champion underrepresented voices. Topic Originals and exclusives include Oscar® nominee The Letter Room (starring Oscar Isaac), BAFTA® nominee The Virtues (starring Stephen Graham), and Emmy® nominee The Accidental Wolf (starring Kelli O’Hara).
About MHz Choice
MHz Choice, the evolution of the original MHz Networks television service, offers viewers in the U.S. and Canada access to a library of the best television mysteries, dramas, comedies and documentaries subtitled in English through its subscription streaming service. Select MHz content is also available on DVD and on its free ad-supported service MHz Now, available on Samsung TV Plus and Plex. Newcomers to MHz Choice are offered a free 7-Day Trial. For more information, go to mhzchoice.com.