You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

International Newswire: OTT Gains Ground on Traditional Pay-TV in Western Europe, Study Says

In today’s International Newswire, OTT providers gain ground on traditional pay-TV operators in Western Europe; Bavaria’s feature film arm hires a new boss; ‘Kon-Tiki’ director helms biopic about Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen; and Spanish broadcasters team on a new digital content platform.

The writing is on the wall. In 2017, in Western Europe, there were eight new subscriptions to Netflix and other over-the-top streaming services for every new traditional pay-TV subscription, a study by IHS Markit finds.

If you can’t beat them, join them. Sky announced March 1 that it would integrate Netflix into a new Sky Q app showcasing big draw hits series like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” next to Sky’s key attractions like “Game of Thrones” and “Big Little Lies.”

In Spain, where market regulator CNMC estimates Netflix had 1.1 million subscribers by June 30, press reports suggest Telefonica’s near three-year-old pay-TV unit Movistar +, though with far more clients than Netflix and already ramping up subscribers, is near to following suit.

All of which doesn’t mean that traditional pay-TV is a write-off. Global digital pay-TV subs around the world, including cable, satellite and IPTV, exceeded one billion for the first time in 2017, driven by the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 83% of net additions, mostly from IPTV growth in China.

But the onus is on traditional pay-TV to suggest to investors where future growth could come from. One driver is investment in original content – which gives an extra edge to early April’s MipTV/Canneseries festival-market, where many of Europe’s biggest pay-TV operators will have new shows or new seasons, such as Canal Plus original “Versailles” Season 3, which kicks off the event on April 4.

Markus Zimmer, the former head of German movie distributor Concorde Filmverleih, is to become CEO of Bavaria Filmproduktion, Bavaria Film Group’s film production and acquisition arm. He will serve as executive producer for all the company’s theatrical movies and other high-end productions.

In 1996, Zimmer joined German major Tele München Group, where he headed national and international feature film acquisition until the end of 2016. In 1999, he became CEO of TMG subsidiary, Concorde. From 2001, he served as a producer for TMG, turning out feature films directed by A-listers like Margarethe von Trotta, Joseph Vilsmaier and Oskar Roehler.

His production output included local hits like “Emerald Green” (2016), “Gaming Instinct” (2013) and “The Story of Brandner Kaspar” (2008). Teen dystopia “The Cloud” was nominated for the German Film Award 2007.

Espen Sandberg, director of 2012’s Oscar nominated “Kon-Tiki,” is in Iceland filming a biopic based on the life of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. The film is co-produced by Motion Blur and SF Studios with financial support from the Norwegian Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. SF will handle Scandinavian distribution and international sales. The explorer was the first to reach the South Pole, and the first to lead a ship through the Northwest Passage, although the film will focus primarily on lesser-known aspects of his life. Pål Sverre Hagen, star of “Valkyrien,” will play Amundsen.

Spanish broadcasters Atresmedia, Mediaset España and RTVE have teamed on a new digital content platform set to use HbbTV technology. The platform will launch as a means to improve the range and quality of content now offered on free-TV, as well as enhance the end-user experience. In a future phase of the program, the group plans to offer additional OTT services for content distribution, and will have its own unique functions and features. As free-to-air continues to lose ground to high-end programming found on pay-TV, the broadcasters can now pool their resources and offer more competitive content that audiences expect.

More TV


    TV Review: ABC's Live 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'

    In retrospect, it was only a matter of time before reboot and revival fever manifested as verbatim repeats — but if TV’s gonna go there, bringing back eerily timely shows like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” is the way to do it. That Norman Lear’s comedies are timely, or at least prescient, is [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Judge in Writers Guild Suit Against Agencies Replaced Again

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine W. Mandel has replaced Craig D. Karlan to handle the Writers Guild of America’s lawsuit against Hollywood’s four major talent agencies. Mandel was appointed Wednesday. She is the third judge assigned to the case, which was filed April 17 by the WGA against CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners [...]

  • Andy Cohen Desperate Housewives E

    TV News Roundup: Bravo Announces First Ever BravoCon

    In today’s roundup, Bravo announces its first ever BravoCon and the trailer for the fourth season of “Queen Sugar” dropped.  DATES The buddy comedy “Partners in Wine,” starring Lauren White and Jasmine Curry, will be available for streaming on Amazon Tuesday, May 28. It follows best friends Mia and Anne, who support, challenge, and judge [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Agencies Offer to Restart Talks With WGA to End Packaging Fee Standoff

    Hollywood’s largest talent agencies have offered to restart negotiations with the WGA to end the standoff over the guild’s effort to impose new rules on talent agents. In a letter to WGA West president David Goodman sent Wednesday, UTA co-president Jay Sures extended an olive branch and suggested resuming talks next week. UTA later sent [...]

  • Martin Short

    Martin Short Joins Whitney Cummings, Lee Daniels Amazon Comedy Pilot 'Good People'

    The cast of the Amazon comedy pilot “Good People” continues to grow, with Martin Short becoming the latest big name star to sign on to the project. Short joins previously announced cast members Lisa Kudrow, Greg Kinnear, and Whitney Cummings. Cummings is also writing and executive producing the pilot with Lee Daniels. “Good People” centers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content