Jim Packer, a seasoned executive in the field of international TV sales, has signed a multi-year contract to continue serving as Lionsgate’s president of worldwide TV distribution.
His contract renewal was announced on October 17th, coinciding with the beginning of the Mipcom content marketplace in Cannes this week. This is the first major gathering of the international television industry in three years.
Since 2011, Packer has worked for Lionsgate. The studio’s future is uncertain, so hearing that he has re-upped is welcome news. CEO Jon Feltheimer of Lionsgate, which owns both the Lionsgate studio and the Starz pay TV platform, has revealed that the business is looking into ways to split these assets. This might involve selling the studio in order to put more resources into expanding the Starz brand.
As worldwide licensing of movies and TV shows is a significant revenue source for big studios to offset ever-increasing production costs, Packer’s role at Lionsgate is crucial.
While its larger competitors are progressively channeling top-tier material to direct-to-consumer platforms, Lionsgate has remained a free-agent independent company selling programming across the spectrum, from broadcast TV to cable to streaming platforms.
Feltheimer has credited Jim and his crew for turning Lionsgate into a worldwide licensing powerhouse whose material is available on nearly every platform.
“He is a world-class executive, a respected leader, and a valued collaborator whose entrepreneurial zeal and understanding of the evolving nature of the content business will continue to play a significant role in our company’s future success.”
Recently, Jim Packer has been in charge of difficult movie and TV output partnerships with Starz, Roku, Peacock, and Tubi, and he has also been handling sales of “Ghost,” Lionsgate’s sleeper comedic triumph for CBS.
In the twelve years that Packer has been with Lionsgate, the company’s movie and television library have grown from 17,000 titles to almost 17,000 episodes, resulting in nearly $800 million in yearly income.
Packer previously worked as president of MGM’s global television and digital divisions. Packer has a background in television distribution from his time at Disney.