Comic-Con Teams with Lionsgate for VOD but Not for Streaming Panels at SDCC 2015

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David Tennant is not amused and neither are we.

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I’ve been a long supporter of the idea that Comic-Con International in San Diego should livestream their panels (minus secret, special footage of course) for fans who can’t make it to their ever-expanding (read: expensive) show. You could charge like you would for a pay-per-view event and probably make a good chunk of change.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I saw the news of Comic-Con and Lionsgate pairing for a subscription video-on-demand service and then learning said service wouldn’t actually include current panels.

Seth Laderman has been hired to lead as Executive Vice President & General Manager of the platform which is expected to launch early 2016. According to the press release:

Mr. Laderman, in association with Comic-Con International, will be responsible for programming the service’s broad portfolio of content, including original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history.  The Comic-Con International SVOD service is designed to expand the comics and pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for longtime fans and new audiences.

“We intend to differentiate our service through the depth and diversity of its content, the quality of its curation and the joys of discovering its rich mix of programming,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  “Seth is ideally qualified to create a line-up that delights fans and newcomers alike with a combination of beloved treasures, thrilling discoveries and unique original content designed exclusively to satisfy our audiences.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.58.38 AMYeah, so they’re going to show old SDCC footage, which is cool, but not current footage. It sounds more like a platform for Lionsgate content with some nerd stuff thrown in. It’s cool for sure, and has a lot of potential to be a new geeky destination but it’s not all I was hoping for.

For his part, Laderman has experience with this type of work, “He was head of production for Legendary Digital and Nerdist Industries, helping to spearhead the digital growth of Nerdist Industries as the YouTube premium content initiative was getting underway.  At Nerdist he helped lead the transformation of Chris Hardwick’s start-up podcast and Website into a worldwide distribution platform with over 20 million monthly active users.  He also oversaw the Nerdist Podcast Network encompassing more than 30 different podcasts with programming seven nights a week.” And lots, lots, more.

“This is a world I know and love, a community I appreciate and respect.  I’m thrilled to embark on this adventure with Lionsgate and Comic-Con International, two of the boldest, most innovative and visionary brands in fan culture,” said Laderman.  “It’s an incredible opportunity to engage this awesome fan base and launch a service that will expand the world of Comic-Con by bringing exciting new content to its fans.”

What do you think, folks?

(via Comic Book Resources, image via myself, SDCC 2009)

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."