In today’s Global Bulletin, “The Mandalorian” finishes 2020 as the world’s most torrented series, Universal Music Group announces three key appointments in Africa and Beyond Rights deals “Pooch Perfect” format in Europe.
Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” is the new king of the internet high seas according to analysis from TorrentFreak, which concluded that the “Star Wars” spinoff series was 2020’s most pirated TV program of the year, based on torrent downloads, up from the third spot in 2019.
For nearly a decade, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” held a monopoly over the top spot, but fans of the fantasy epic have been left high and dry while waiting for the network’s “House of the Dragon” spinoff, leaving the door open for “The Mandalorian” to stake its claim.
While a strong indicator of digital download trends, the TorrentFreak survey is not necessarily a conclusive method of tracking piracy as the number of torrent downloads does not account for views via illegal streaming services.
Traditionally, science fiction, fantasy and superhero series have dominated the yearly list of most pirated programming, and 2020 was no different. This year’s second through fifth slots went to, in order, Amazon’s “The Boys,” HBO’s “Westworld,” Amazon’s “Vikings” and CBS’s “Star Trek: Picard.” Other high-ranking shows on the 2020 list included “Rick and Morty,” The Walking Dead,” “The Outsider,” “Arrow” and “The Flash.”
Universal Music Group has announced three key strategic leadership appointments on the African continent. Sipho Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Elouise Kelly was appointed as COO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; and Chinedu Okeke is the new managing director at Universal Music Nigeria.
According to UMG, the appointments underscore the company’s commitment to “support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for African talent to reach new audiences globally.”
UMG’s expansion across Africa includes the opening of new divisions in Nigeria as well as becoming the first major international music label to establish offices in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco. Plans are in place to continue the company’s growth going forward as UMG continues to extend the company’s support for domestic artists across Africa and globally.
Beyond Rights has closed its first international format deals for the upcoming British competitive dog grooming program “Pooch Perfect,” premiering Jan. 7 on BBC1, as well as several deals for the Australian original.
“Pooch Perfect” was created by Beyond Production’s U.K. team and invites professional dog groomers to compete in a series of rounds in which they will give family pets makeovers before strutting them down The Dogwalk in front of a panel of expert judges which will eventually crown the U.K.’s top dog groomer.
Deals include Tresor TV Productions in Germany and Fabiola for the Benelux territories, while the original Australian “Pooch Perfect,” commissioned by Seven Network and hosted by Rebel Wilson, has been licensed to TV2 in Denmark, YLE in Finland, SIC in Portugal, Blue Ant Media in Canada and Quebecor in French-speaking Canada.