Film distribution company Kino Lorber has acquired media company MHz Networks, parent of streamer MHz Choice, a North American subscription VOD service specializing in international TV series.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The newly combined company, Kino Lorber Media Group, now has more than 5,000 titles comprising more than 10,000 hours of programming under license. MHz Choice brings several hundred titles to Kino Lorber’s existing set of 4,000-plus. According to the company, the deal makes it “the leading North American destination for high-quality international series and movies.”
The entire staff of both MHz Networks and Kino Lorber will remain in place. MHz Networks founder and CEO Frederick Thomas and SVP of content strategy Lance Schwulst will continue to lead MHz Networks within Kino Lorber Media Group.
“MHz’s track record of curating best-in-class series from around the world has helped it build one of the most loyal subscriber audiences in streaming,” Kino Lorber president and CEO Richard Lorber said in a statement. “At a time when Hollywood mega-streamers are going bigger and broader, we like the idea of going deeper into specialized content to super-serve the most discerning audiences.” Our highly curated approach helps us stand out from other streamers, and makes MHz Choice the perfect companion platform for audiences seeking prestige entertainment in an accessible way.”
MHz Networks began as an extension of American Public Broadcasting, with an initial lineup that featured international news, documentaries, foreign films and serialized content. The Falls Church, Va.-based company entered the boutique streaming arena with the launch of MHz Choice in 2015.
MHz Choice’s service, available in the U.S. and Canada, costs $7.99/month or $89.99/year. The service’s catalog includes “A French Village,” “Wallander,” “Murder In…,” “Detective Montalbano,” “Beck” and, most recently, “Paris Police 1900” (pictured above). MHz Choice’s upcoming releases include German kidnapping drama “Enemies,” Bordeaux-set detective series “Mongeville,” retro French comedy “Cheeky Business,” female-led Italian crime dramas “Petra” and “Voiceless,” and the dark family drama “Waterfront,” MHz Choice’s first series from South Africa.
MHz Choice’s SVOD lineup will soon also include a selection of arthouse films from Kino Lorber’s library and new release titles. Select MHz content is also available on DVD and on the free, ad-supported service MHz Now, available on Samsung TV Plus and Plex.
“Kino Lorber is the perfect fit to help take MHz to the next level,” Thomas said in a statement. “Their extensive library of new and classic international films will add an exciting dimension for our current and future subscribers.”
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