Satisfaction Group, Arthur Essebag’s thriving Paris-based production company specializing in non-scripted shows, has acquired 100% of Sony Pictures Television France, creating an exclusive joint venture called Satisfy.
Under the deal, Sony Pictures Television has acquired 20% of Satisfaction Group, and will be in charge of the international distribution of the company’s formats, some of which are among France’s highest-rated non-scripted programs. Satisfaction will benefit from Sony Pictures Television’s sales force and platform outside of France, especially in North America and the U.S.
Under the joint venture, Satisfaction Group will also gain access to Sony Pictures Television France (also called Starling)’s library of 120 non-scripted formats in France, notably “The Newlywed Game,” “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” “Dragon’s Den” and “Brainiest.”
Australian production and distribution group Beyond International has acquired Seven Studios UK in London and purchased Seven West Media’s shares in 7Beyond in Los Angeles.
Beyond has also acquired the remaining 50.98% of the share capital of 7Beyond that it did not previously own from Seven Network, giving it 100% ownership of 7Beyond.The acquisition of Seven Studios was facilitated through Beyond Entertainment, the group’s wholly owned Irish subsidiary, which earlier this summer acquired UK distributor TCB Media Rights out of the wreckage of Canada’s Kew Media.
Both businesses will eventually be re-branded as Beyond Productions and will report into John Luscombe, Beyond Productions’ general manager and exec VP.
Seven Studios UK, headed by Damon Pattison, is currently producing an 8×60’ primetime adaptation of "Pooch Perfect" for BBC1. The format has already been produced for the Seven Network in Australia.
Source: C21 Media
Banijay Group’s $2.2 billion deal for Endemol Shine has received clearance from the European Commission’s antitrust regulators, which was the biggest antitrust hurdle Banijay needed to overcome in order to complete the acquisition, creating the largest independent production group in the world.
Banijay and Endemol Shine will have combined revenues of €3 billion ($3.4 billion), and this deal puts Banijay in control of 200 production labels and global brands including “MasterChef,” “Big Brother,” and “Survivor”.
Finnish VOD company Elisa Viihde and Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group have agreed a partnership to combine their streaming services in Finland.
The new service will combine original series and domestic movies from Elisa Viihde’s Aitio platform with Nordic drama, international films and series and kids’ content from NENT’s Viaplay.
From June 30, customers will have access to both Aitio and Viaplay content at one price from their current service, before both platforms merge as Elisa Viihde Viaplay in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Chinese social media and entertainment giant Tencent is to buy control of Iflix, a Southeast Asian streaming firm with operations in 13 countries.
The move represents further consolidation of the regional streaming business in Asia, and is by far the biggest international outreach manoeuvre to date by any of China’s massive video streaming firms.
French group Mediawan announced on Monday a raft of deals, including the acquisition of Lagardere Studios, as part of a broader expansion laid out by its founders, who will also establish a new holding company for the business.
Mediawan was set up in late 2015 by leading French businessmen Pierre-Antoine Capton, founder of French media firm 3e Oeil Productions; Xavier Niel, founder of telecoms group Iliad; and financier Matthieu Pigasse, with a view to challenging the likes of Netflix with premium audiovisual content.
The strategy was to create a pan-European media player, named Mediawan Alliance. This new holding entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of Lagardère Studios, acquired a majority stake in Spanish independent production company Good Mood ( El Accidente, Estoy Vivo and La Valla), made a binding offer for French production group Troisième Oeil’s audiovisual activities and will also hold a minority stake in KKR-backed German studio Leonine.
The Lagardère Studios deal has seen Mediawan Alliance submit a binding offer to parent Lagardère Group “for a total consideration of up to €100m [US$112m],”. The deal would include Lagardère Studios’ stakes in 25 other prodcos, including those in France (Atlantique Production, Imagissime, DEMD Productions and others), Spain (Grupo Boomerang), Finland (Aito Media) and the Netherlands (Skyhigh TV).
Source: C21 / Reuters
The HBO Max streaming platform has officially launched this Wednesday, May 26, featuring an array of content curated from across WarnerMedia’s catalog and a roster of new Max originals, along with acquired franchises and films.
The new direct-to-consumer platform features 10,000 hours of premium content, including the entire HBO service; movies and TV series from Warner Bros.’ 100-year content collection; highlights from New Line; catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes Cartoons; a selection of classic films curated in partnership with TCM; along with a monthly offering of new Max originals.
Max originals available at launch include Love Life, On the Record, Legendary, Craftopia, Looney Tunes Cartoons and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. Throughout the summer, new originals will debut, including Karma, a second season of Doom Patrol, a second season of Sesame Workshop’s Esme & Roy, the return of Search Party, the first of four animated specials of Adventure Time: Distant Lands, and the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy.
HBO Max will feature a library of more than 2,000 films within the first year. Starting today, audiences can stream all eight films in the Harry Potter franchise. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will also be available on HBO Max via the HBO service.
The service seemingly debuts at a perfect time, as the Covid-19 pandemic ensures many Americans are spending much more time at home and are thus seeking new TV content to watch. But the pandemic has also brought some unexpected blows, as productions across Hollywood have halted. The Friends reunion special, which was planned to be available at launch, has been delayed, as has the much-anticipated Gossip Girl reboot which has been put back to 2021. Consequently, Anna Kendrick fronted romcom series, Love Life, has stepped in as the service’s flagship show at launch.
The service is available for a fee of $14.99 a month or free for AT&T pay-TV customer who are currently paying for HBO. Distribution deals are in place with the likes of Charter, Cox, Verizon, Altice, Apple TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Android, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and talks are reportedly ongoing with Roku.
The service in expected to launch in Latin America some time in 2021.
Source: Worldscreen / Advanced Television
NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock is launching for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers at no additional cost.
This lines up with the schedule that the company announced in January, which pointed to a broader launch on July 15. NBCUniversal says that’s still happening, though the launch will no longer coincide with the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Comcast subscribers get access to Peacock’s premium tier, that includes an on-demand library of more than 15,000 hours of TV and movies, including “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” and its various spin-offs, “Jurassic Park” and “Shrek.” It also includes early access to NBC’s late-night shows “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”
When the service launches more broadly in July (which is also when it launches on mobile), there will be a free tier with roughly half as much content. If you pay for Peacock Premium separately, it will cost $4.99 per month with ads, or $9.99 per month without ads.
Peacock will eventually feature original programming, including a reboot of “Battlestar Galactica.” The release dates for some of that original programming may be delayed, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down productions worldwide.
Quibi is launching with nearly 50 shows. The initial lineup includes “Chrissy’s Court” (in which Chrissy Teigen presides over small claims court), “Shape of Pasta” (a food and travel show starring chef Evan Funke) and “Survive” (a scripted plane crash drama starring Sophie Turner). All the episodes are less than 10 minutes in length, and can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode.
Quibi says it will be delivering more than 25 new episodes every day, including segments of what the company is calling Daily Essentials — news and entertainment shows like “Last Night’s Late Night” from Entertainment Weekly and “The Replay” from ESPN.
The service costs $4.99 with ads or $7.99 per month without ads. Quibi is also offering a 90-day free trial if you sign up before the end of April.
Source: Tech Crunch
Australia’s Beyond International is to acquire U.K. distributor TCB Media Rights, previously owned by Kew Media Group.
The acquisition will be completed through Beyond’s Ireland-based subsidiary, Beyond Entertainment Limited (BEL).
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Beyond said it will acquire 100% of the share capital of TCB for cash and will also advance funding to TCB to repay an intercompany debt owing to Kew.
Founded in 2012 by Paul Heaney, non-scripted factual specialist TCB’s television sales portfolio includes “Abandoned Engineering,” “Combat Ships,” and “Egypt’s Unexplained Mysteries.”
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