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TBI Weekly: Where is Apple’s TV distribution strategy?

This week, Apple’s launch date for its slate of original programming was revealed to be set for Spring/Summer 2019, but we’re no closer to knowing how these shows will appear on our screens.

Apple doesn’t seem to think it has a distribution problem. In fact, the New York Times report, which revealed the story above, has Apple’s senior vice president Eddy Cue stating that it knows “very little” about making TV and a whole lot about distribution itself.

He said: “We don’t know anything about making television…There’s other things we bring. We know how to create apps, we know how to do distribution, we know how to market. But we don’t really know how to create shows.”

Yet, funnily enough, we know a lot about the platform’s upcoming titles and very little about how it is set to distribute them.

We know the titles, currently counting at 12, which include high-end Steven Spielberg anthology Amazing Stories, animated music comedy Central Park and a Kristen Wiig half-hour comedy Home.

We know who Apple is hiring to keep these shows coming from Sony execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who will lead the pack, former Channel 4 content head Jay Hunt to lead in Europe and Angélica Guerra for Latin America.

We even have an inkling at how much its paying for these shows, with NYT reporting that it has already surpassed its initial $1bn budget promise to producers.

But, hints at distribution have been kept firmly under wraps. Some speculate they will create their own SVOD service, others that they will distribute via other services, but no word yet from the self-confessed distribution experts.

Also in the news…

Hugh Bonneville’s Easter event documentary Countdown to Calvary has sold to nine territories worldwide including the US, Norway and Italy

Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel will deliver the MacTaggart keynote speech for this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival

Comedy Central’s Roast Battle UK will head to Finland’s YLE for first-ever international sale

Portfolio Entertainment has partnered with creator Scott Chistian Sava, to develop his graphic novel Pet Robots

A+E Networks has expanded the distribution of its factual entertainment channel H2 in Poland and Croatia.

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