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Quibi Cancels Red Carpet Launch Event in Los Angeles as Coronavirus Fears Mount (EXCLUSIVE)

quibi
Courtesy of Quibi

Quibi has canceled its red carpet launch event “out of an abundance of caution” amid the growing threat of the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The celebration was set for April 5, just a day before the much-anticipated mobile streaming service, led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, goes live on April 6.

“While we look forward to launching the Quibi app on April 6, we have decided to cancel our pre-launch event party out of an abundance of caution as we continue to monitor COVID-19,” a Quibi spokesperson told Variety. “Supporting the health and well-being of everyone involved is our top priority.”

While Quibi never announced who was expected to attend the party at 3Labs in Culver City, Calif., its programming includes originals with Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Chance the Rapper, Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner, Lena Waithe, Nicole Richie, Reese Witherspoon and more. The red carpet was also scheduled for three hours, about the same amount of time as the Oscars carpet.

Quibi recently announced that there will be 50 shows available to subscribers at launch. Katzenberg and Whitman have raised $1.75 billion to fund its content.

A 90-day free trial is available for viewers who sign up on the Quibi website before April 6. The service’s monthly rate is set at $4.99 (with ads) and $7.99 (no ads). Overall, it plans to release 175 original shows and 8,500 episodes in the first year.

Quibi’s programming includes “Movies in Chapters,” which are feature-length films cut down to episodes that are 7-10 minutes long; unscripted and documentary series; and Daily Essentials shows, quick bites of news, entertainment and lifestyle programming about 5-6 minutes long.

The news comes after a slew of industry cancellations due to concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus), the biggest of which was SXSW. This year’s edition of the festival was canceled after Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Lionsgate pulled out.