In today’s Mipcom Roundup, the English Premier League announces a pay-per-view plan for games, while Spanish-language producers Ánima and Touché Films team up, the BBC and Prince William back new Silverback Films series and ITV partners with Charter Spectrum to order a new Two Brothers Pictures series.
Britain’s English Premier League (EPL), the world’s most lucrative domestic soccer league, came under fire yesterday after announcing that games not selected for open broadcast by Sky Sports or BT Sport will be made available on a pay-per-view basis for a per-match fee of £14.95 ($19.51) after Oct. 17 via BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.
The change will see half of each round of fixture’s games taken off of Sky, BT and the BBC, where they had been available since the league returned to action in June, and made only available via pay-per-view.
With fans not allowed in stadiums and many suffering COVID-19 related financial hardships, the announcement was decried by many on social media as tone-deaf, with outspoken Sky pundit and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville taking to Twitter where he described the change as “a really bad move.”
This is a really bad move by the @premierleague to charge £14.95 for single matches that have been shown free for 6 months !
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) October 9, 2020
Yesterday’s decision was the result of a vote between the league’s 20 clubs. Previously, as reported by the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Sky and BT stood strongly in opposition of a PPV model, preferring to continue showing all matches.
An Enders Analysis report previously warned that the next domestic rights tender in 2021 could drop by as much as 10%, explaining that: “Sky and BT overpaid for rights in the past and BT has suffered a decline in its value. Now the U.K. sports broadcasters are trying to think about reducing their rights costs.”
Ánima, one of the Spanish-speaking world’s largest family entertainment companies, with offices in Mexico City, Madrid, the Canary Islands and Buenos Aires, has entered a joint venture with Ecuadorian production company Touché Films, hosts of the 23.6 million subscriber-strong Enchufe.tv YouTube channel.
Under the new deal, the two companies will team on developing and producing new, original animated content based on the Enchufe.tv. universe. Exact details of the first co-production have not yet been released, but it is described as a family comedy mixing thriller, romance and fantasy elements, and will feature already-existing Enchufe.tv characters.
The deal was announced by Touché Films CEO Arturo Yépez, and Ánima CEO Fernando De Fuentes S. and COO José C. García de Letona.
As part of a £50m ($65m) venture between the BBC and Prince William, Silverback Films will produce “Earthshot: How to Save Our Plant” (working title), a new factual series about ways in which the world’s natural resources can be protected.
Prince William’s The Earthshot Prize is a £50m ($65m) initiative meant to galvanize people around the world in finding evidence-based solutions to the greatest environmental problems facing the planet today.
The scheme and the show will focus on five key areas: Protecting and restoring nature; cleaning the air; reviving the oceans; eliminating waste; and repairing the climate. The partnership will also see the BBC broadcast the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards ceremony from London next year.
The six-hour series will launch in 2021 and is produced by Silverback’s Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey. Jonnie Hughes is series producer.
Charter Communications’ streaming platform Spectrum and ITV in the U.K. have teamed on “Angela Black,” a new psychological thriller from Two Brothers Pictures.
Starring Golden Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”), Michiel Huisman (“The Age of Adaline”) and Samuel Adewunmi (“The Last Tree”), the series turns protagonist Angela’s seemingly ideal life upside down. Stuck in an abusive relationship with no apparent way out, she is approached by a PI who reveals secrets about her husband she never could have expected.
Harry and Jack Williams (“The Missing,” “Fleabag”) handle screenwriting duties and production is already underway in London. All3Media International will handle international sales.