TBI Weekly: Facebook arrives as Disney goes OTT

Facebook WatchMajor developments in the subscription VOD space have proven the big talking points of the past week, with Disney, Facebook, Netflix and CBS all making bold statements.


Facebook the one to Watch

Just as Facebook’s domination of the social media market continues to grow, so has the speculation over what the US tech giant will do in the original video space.

This week, after a number of relatively vague statements earlier in the year, Facebook revealed Watch, a new video platform that will look to help producers, creatives and content publishers to “find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work”.

An initial suite of programmes includes shows from National Geographic, Univision Deportes and A&E. Producers and distributors worldwide will be rubbing their hands at the thought of working with original programming’s latest commissioner.

“It’s like the Wild West at the start of the Gold Rush,” one high-ranking TV exec remarked to TBI this week of the opportunity.


Disney divorces Netflix as CBS moves away

 The Walt Disney Company’s fruitful relationship with Netflix is officially coming to an end.

Disney this week decided to pull all of its theatrical films releases from the SVOD service from 2019, and will launch its own global subscription D2C offer instead.

Netflix responded – or, chronologically preempted – the move by announcing its first company acquisition: the Scotland-based comic book publisher behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman, Millarwood.

CBS, meanwhile, will challenge Disney on the international front by next year beginning an international rollout of its SVOD service, CBS All Access. It’s all getting quite confusing, isn’t it?


Also in the news…

HBO ordered new comedy series from LeBron James and hosts of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, but continues to struggle with leaks of Game of Thrones

Writing duo Alex and David Pastor have signed on to develop high-concept survival drama The Head, which Spain’s Mediapro and Scandinavia’s Dramacorp presented at Series Mania

5Star, the Viacom-owned UK channel, has commissioned a spin-off of Naked Entertainment’s ‘make-under’ show 100% Hotter, which will be sub-branded Make Me Over

Acorn TV became the North American copro partner on season three of BBC comedy Detectorists

Nickelodeon’s Greek channel acquired live actions series Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends and toon World of Winx from Italian animation studio Rainbow

Imagen Televisión bought Ay Yapim’s Turkish drama Brave and Beautiful and Insider from Eccho Rights

RTL in Germany and Seven Network in Australia were among buyers of the latest season of Alfred Haber Television-sold reality series Wicked Tuna


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