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Lions Gate's Vice Chairman Compared His Company To A Benevolent Arms Dealer

Lions Gate's Vice Chairman Compared His Company To A Benevolent Arms Dealer

One of the most common questions directed toward Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE: LGF) Vice Chairman Michael Burns concerns the company's relationship with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). Specifically, is Lions Gate a friend, enemy or some sort of "frienemy" — a combination of the two?

Speaking to CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Burns answered that Netflix is not a friend, enemy or frienemy — it is a customer. The executive pointed out that the studio is currently finishing up a new show for Netflix called "Dear White People."

Burns continued that Lions Gate has seen great success with Netflix over the years with shows like "Orange Is the New Black."

Related Link: Sell-Side Sour Grapes? Strong Quarter From Netflix Not Enough To Convince Some Analysts

Netflix's Dilemma: Licensing Versus Owning

Netflix hinted in its earnings report and conference call on Monday that it wants to move away from licensing shows like "Orange Is the New Black," so it can own the content themselves.

Burns noted that from his point of view, when Lions Gate produces a show that different streaming platforms want for their library, the company gets a deal similar to what it is was looking for.

Burns also suggested that for the better part of a decade, streaming video platforms have been talking about producing their own content in-house, but thus far, nothing has come from it.

"We are a benevolent arms dealer so we will sell to everyone and we usually have a lot of competition for our shows," Burns concluded.

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