Film and television studio Lionsgate said on Wednesday it bought Debmar-Mercury LLC, an independent television distributor with rights to such shows as Comedy Central's popular animated sitcom South Park.

Lionsgate did not disclose terms of the purchase, but said it will allow for the creation of a new distribution outlet for Lionsgate's own films and programming, as well as bringing in revenue from third-party entertainment properties.

Lionsgate plans its own slate of nine prime-time television series for its fiscal year 2007 and said it would benefit from Debmar-Mercury's distribution capabilities across new and traditional media outlets.

Debmar-Mercury will retain its name and operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lionsgate under principals Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein. Debmar-Mercury is already a distributor of Lionsgate television thriller The Dead Zone.