Cannes- International TV sales veteran Jim Packer has signed a multi-year deal with Lionsgate that will see him remain in its senior management role as head of global TV distribution.
News of his contract extension was announced on October 17, just as Mipcom’s content marketplace launches in Cannes this week, bringing together the global television community for the first time in three years.
Packer has been with Lionsgate since 2011. The news that he has resurfaced comes at a precarious time for the studio. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said the company, home to the Lionsgate studio and pay-TV platform Starz, is considering ways to spin off those assets, possibly selling the studio to focus on building Starz.
Packer’s role is crucial for Lionsgate, as international licensing of films and TV shows is an important source of income for major studios to cover ever-increasing production costs. While its larger competitors are increasingly pushing premium content to direct-to-consumer platforms, Lionsgate has remained an agent-free company that sells content to platforms ranging from television to cable and streaming. “Jim and his team have built Lionsgate into a global licensing powerhouse with content that touches nearly every platform in the world,” Feltheimer said. “He is a world-class leader, respected leader, and trusted partner whose entrepreneurship and knowledge of the changing face of the content business will continue to be an important part of moving our company forward.”
Packer most recently worked on “Ghost,” Lionsgate’s sleeper hit for CBS, and handled complex film and television production deals with Starz, Roku, Peacock, and Tub. Lionsgate noted that during Packer’s dozen years at Lionsgate, his 17,000-title film and television library doubled in total annual revenue to nearly $800 million.
Prior to Lionsgate, Packer served as director of global television and digital broadcasting for MGM. Earlier in his career, Packer worked on Disney television.