Round-up: AMC+ launches on YouTube TV; HBO Max boards Channel 4 chimp documentary; SPI expands in Africa

The Walking Dead

AMC+ launches on YouTube TV

US-based AMC Networks has launched its AMC+ subscription bundle on YouTube TV.

Providing content to programming from across the company’s networks, including AMC, Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, YouTube TV customers will now have access to marquee AMC titles such as horror shows The Walking Dead and Creepshow and upcoming Cold War thriller Spy City.

“We are thrilled to make AMC+ available to YouTube TV subscribers,” said Courtney Thomasma, general manager of AMC+. Especially as we head into April, which is one of the biggest months of the year for Shudder as it marks ‘Halfway to Halloween’ with the return of Creepshow and its huge celebration of horror, thriller and supernatural programming, we know new and existing subscribers will appreciate everything AMC+ has to offer.”

Lucy The Human Chimp

HBO Max boards Channel 4 chimp documentary

WarnerMedia-owned US streamer HBO Max has boarded Lucy The Human Chimp, a feature length documentary about a chimpanzee raised as a human.

Produced by KEO Films for Channel 4 in the UK, the 1 x 90-minute film is distributed by Hat Trick International, and tells the story of the friendship between Lucy the chimpanzee and student Janis Carter, who lived in the wild for more than six years to teach her how to adapt.

Directed by Alex Parkinson, the film uses previously unseen archive film and photographs as well as dramatic reconstruction. Computer generated virtual sets were also used to bring to life locations in The Gambia and USA.

Sarah Tong, sales director at Hat Trick International, said, “This is a fascinating and emotional insight into a shocking social experiment. Janis has waited 40 years to tell her story and we are delighted to have secured the involvement of HBO Max, which will ensure this unique event can finally be shared throughout the world.”

SPI expands in Africa

SPI International is expanding its reach across Africa after inking multiple deals with operators in the region, including digital satellite television provider ZAP to bring Gametoon, 360 TuneBox, FashionBox, FightBox, FilmBox Arthouse and Fast&FunBox to Angola and Mozambique.

“We are delighted to build on our presence in the African continent and especially happy to start this partnership with ZAP, the leading operator in Angola and Mozambique,” said Georgina Twiss, MD Western Europe & Africa at SPI International.

We are excited to see such positive reactions to our channels from the African audience and strongly believe that SPI’s new additions will enrich the ZAP channel offering and engage with audiences who enjoy gaming, music, lifestyle, adrenaline sports, MMA and classical films.”

Apple orders war crime doc & podcast

Apple TV+ has ordered The Line, a four-part original limited documentary series, with an accompanying podcast, exploring the story of US Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.

Both are produced by Jigsaw Productions, with the TV series directed by Jeffrey Zimbalist (Momentum Generation) and executive produced by Alex Gibney, Brad Hebert, Richard Perello, and Stacey Offman, alongside Michael Zimbalist and Jeffrey Zimbalist from All Rise Films, with Doug Shultz as producer, and Whitney Johnson.

The podcast has already launched, while the TV series is expected to debut in the fall, with both delving into how Gallagher who charged with committing war crimes, before ultimately being acquitted on all but one count—for posing in a photo with a corpse.

The Apple TV+ exclusive TV series will explore the story from another angle, featuring never-before-seen footage as it delves deeper into the US counterterrorism effort in the Middle East.

NENT Group sells Splay One to Caybon

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has agreed a deal to sell marketing business Splay One to Swedish digital media company Caybon.

NENT said that the sale is in line with NENT Group’s strategy to focus NENT Studios (which housed Splay One) on scripted drama production for Viaplay.

Splay One focuses its marketing efforts on influencers, and operates the region’s largest multi-channel network with over 250 million video views per month. It is based in Stockholm, and has expanded into content development, strategy, distribution and multi-platform productions.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “We are pleased to have found a new home for Splay One that will enable the company to accelerate both its growth and strategy development. This transaction marks the first step in our process to reshape our Studios portfolio to work with scripted content only and fully integrated with Viaplay. The remaining Studios divestments continue according to plan and are expected to be completed during the first half of 2021.”

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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