In today’s Global Bulletin, the Brit Awards honor Taylor Swift; “Line of Duty” is heading to China; ODEX sends “Demon Slayer” to Vox Cinemas in MENA; Comedy Central U.K. commissions three new unscripted programs; and Digital Catapult prepares the world’s first 5G-powered music festival.
This year’s Brit Awards will recognize American artist Taylor Swift with the organization’s highest honor, the Global Icon award, at Tuesday’s ceremony in recognition of her impact on the world’s music industry and career achievements. The ceremony will be held live at London’s O2 arena and broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub, where Swift will be the first female artist to receive the award, joining previous winners such as Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie.
The 2021 Brit Awards will be the first major U.K. indoor music event to host a live audience since large gatherings were prohibited and will gift 2,500 tickets to frontline workers and a guest. The ceremony will be monitored closely as part of the government’s scientific Events Research Program to study how large events can most safely take place going forward.
ITV’s ratings record-breaker “Line of Duty” is heading to China following a deal struck between ITV Studios and distributor Pumpkin Film. Just last week, the series’ sixth-season finale broke modern U.K. viewing records with more than 11 million overnights, or a 51.7% share. Since then, the episode has surpassed 16 million viewings over seven days.
Other deals for the hit show were struck linear broadcasters and streamers abroad, including TVNZ in New Zealand, KT Corp in South Korea, Movistar in Spain, Denmark’s DR, NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, Finland’s YLE, VRT in Belgium, NPO in the Netherlands and LTV in Latvia. It will launch exclusively on Britbox in North America next week, having launched on the streaming platform in Australia in April.
Vox Cinemas, the dedicated cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim, and Japanese animation distributor ODEX have closed an exclusive deal to see the former distribute anime films across the Middle East and North Africa. Six films will release across eight MENA territories as part of the deal, including global box office phenomenon “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.” The highest-grossing Japanese film in history will release in Vox Cinemas on May 13 in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt.
Comedy Central U.K. has commissioned three new programs for production including “Yesterday, Today & The Day Before” from Rumpus Media, and two shows from Monkey: a comedic panel show titled “The Complaints Department” and quiz format “Fact Off” (working title).
In “Yesterday, Today & The Day Before,” a panel of famous female celebrities will gather and discuss the latest in news, pop culture and personal stories, often featuring special guests. “The Complaints Department” will team popular comics to review and revel in the best complaints compiled from letters, tweets and interviews, while also offering up their own gripes. And finally, “Fact Off” will pit four comics head-to-head in an attempt to outsmart one another with their knowledge of facts and trivia.
Digital Catapult, a leading U.K. advanced digital technology center and 5G specialist, is teaming with Warner Music Group, the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, O2, Metropolis Studios, Sonosphere, Audiotonix, Mativision and LiveFrom on the world’s first 5G powered hybrid music festival. The multi-location event will be held as part of a wider £200 million ($282 million) 5G testbeds and trials program and will include an immersive platform through which artists can perform together in real time from venues in separate locations, all powered by 5G.
Born of the COVID-19 pandemic, 5G Festival is produced to create a more diverse and sustainable live music industry going forward and to allow musicians to use the technology to grow their audiences.