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TBI Weekly: Our top stories of 2018

It has been exactly a year to the day since Disney revealed its proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox – a landmark takeover that has, in many ways, laid the foundation for the tectonic shifts in the media landscape across 2018.

Mega-mergers such as Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, Comcast’s Sky takeover and AT&T’s Time Warner purchase all reflect a universal desire to achieve scale quickly and smartly, with SVOD plays figuring heavily in expansion plans.

A year on from the #MeToo scandal of 2017 that saw businesses such as Amazon and Vice forced to confront workplace abuse and harassment, powerhouse female execs were put in charge of crucial turnarounds, with A+E boss Nancy Dubuc taking the reins at an embattled Vice and NBC Entertainment’s Jennifer Salke leading Amazon.

Meanwhile, Netflix maintained its monolithic position in the global market with an aggressive regional strategy that saw the business set up commissioning outposts and production hubs in key territories such as Spain and the UK, while Amazon did some serious damage control, repledging its support for broadcasters.

Elsewhere, it was tough going for niche SVOD plays – with the likes of FilmStruck and DramaFever shuttering and, more recently, Eleven Sports UK also on the brink of closure – other services such as Acorn TV and Shudder thrived, expanding into ever more territories.

And who could forget the Endemol saga, which found the Black Mirror producer on the sales block in a long-winded process, only to return to the Apollo/Disney fold, or All3Media International’s extraordinary Netflix deal for The Circle, and that headline-grabbing carriage fee dispute between Virgin Media and UKTV that highlighted the importance of a strong PR game (and well-timed Twitter video appeal) in public negotiations.

Read on for our top 20 stories of the year…

Amazon reveals subscribers’ streaming habits
The Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy
Leak lays bare Amazon Originals effect
BBC, Channel 4, ITV discuss service launch to combat Netflix
Vice confirms Dubuc will replace Smith as CEO
US pay TV revenues set for $26.6bn drop – forecast
Amazon Studios reshuffles after Salke hire
Netflix extends non-drama commissioning, adds London exec
Virgin Media to drop UKTV channels
John Stankey predicts tough year ahead for HBO
Walmart plans SVOD service to take on Netflix
Disneyflix details emerge as Disney preps for SVOD launch
Amazon “desperate” to support broadcasting landscape
Netflix squares The Circle
Banijay eyes joint bid for Endemol
Distributors: the new producers?
Brexit and broadcasting: How Brexit will impact the TV sector
Comcast boss “convincing and relatable” as details emerge of Sky takeover
Netflix: Disney will be a formidable partner
Netflix & WarnerMedia strike $100m deal for Friends


The week’s top TBI stories…