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STREAMING

Apple TV+ and Disney+ were the major gainers in the U.K. subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market, a survey from BARB, the country’s television audience measurement currency, has found. BARB’s establishment survey for the first quarter of the year reports that the number of U.K. households with access to a streaming service reached 19.57 million U.K. homes (68.5% of households), in the first quarter of the year, an increase of almost 500,000 homes since the fourth quarter of 2021. Of these, 1.57 million homes had access to Apple TV+, up 27% from 1.24 million the previous quarter and 6.53 million homes had access to Disney+, a quarterly increase of 19% from 5.49 million in Q4 2021.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV saw smaller quarterly gains with 17.29 million homes having access to Netflix in Q1 2022, up 3% from 16.79 million the previous quarter; 13.35 million homes having access to Amazon Prime Video, a growth of 6% from 12.57 million in Q4 2021; and 2.13 million homes with Now TV, an increase of 4% from 2.06 million the previous quarter.

The number of U.K. homes with two or more services is now 13.2 million homes (46.3% of households), up from 12.4 million homes in Q4 2021.

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Eddie Kadi David Geli

COMMISSIONS

U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has added “Unapologetic” and “Crazy Rich…” to the commissions stemming from its landmark Black to Front project. Sept. 10, 2021, saw Channel 4’s entire programming schedule fronted by Black talent and contributors across all genres and advertisements, with the aim of amplifying Black voices in TV.

Yinka Bokinni and Zeze Millz will front a further six episodes of late night topical talk show “Unapologetic,” produced by SBTV and Cardiff Productions, which was previously recommissioned following its debut during The Black To Front Project. “In Crazy Rich… (working title), produced by Rumpus Media, Eddie Kadi who was featured in “Celebrity Gogglebox” during Black To Front, will act as a tour guide to show a famous comedian mate a side of Ghana that is seldom seen. Channel 4 had revealed in May that “The Big Breakfast,” produced by Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios, would get a summer run, with hosts AJ Odudu and Mo Gilligan, which was first seen as in a Black to Front Project special episode. “The Defenders” from Spring Films and “Billionaires’ Paradise” from Spun Gold were also commissioned as part of the project.

Other talent who were part of the project and who now have Channel 4 commissions include Scarlette and Stuart Douglas (“Worst House On The Street” and “George Clarke’s Flipping Fast”) and Jean Johansson (“Dream Life for Same Price” pilot and “Keys to a Fortune”). Other shows with Judi Love, AJ Odudu, Zeze Millz, Yinka Bokinni and Munya Chawawa will be revealed imminently.

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“Path to Ecstasy” Rosebud Films

SHORT FILM

Laurence Olivier award winner Michael Jibson (“Hamilton”) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (“The Kid Who Would Be King”) lead the short drama “Path to Ecstasy,” alongside Laura Main (“Call the Midwife”), Tom Taylor (“The Dark Tower”), Georgia Pemberton (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), Amir Wilson (“His Dark Materials”), Ken Christiansen (“It’s a Sin”) and Mimi Slinger (“Masters of the Air”).

The short, the second from Abdullah Khan after “Find the Light,” follows Adam (Serkis), a lost teen who over the course of one night, is abandoned by his alcoholic stepfather (Jibson) and spurred on a desperate search for human connection, within the same crowd he also wishes to escape from.

The film, which is produced by Lucas A. Ferrara and Khan under the Rosebud Films banner, has wrapped principal photography in London and is heading to film festivals later this year. Rosebud Films is developing multiple feature films projects, one of which is a psychological period piece focusing on the occult.

SALES

Cineflix Rights has closed several international deals with Central and Eastern European and Southern Mediterranean broadcasters ahead of NATPE Budapest 2022. Tanweer has bought all three seasons of thriller Marcella (24×60’, Buccaneer Media for ITV, U.K., and Netflix, worldwide) for ERT (Greece), and Disney+ has taken season 1 of “Coroner” (8×60’, Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films, and Cineflix Studios for CBC, Canada) for its streaming platforms covering the Balkans and Bulgaria.

“John Wayne Gacy: Killer Clown’s Revenge” (4×60’, Hoff Productions for Reelz, US) is acquired by TV JOJ (Czech Republic); “Battle of Alcatraz” (2×60’, Hoff Productions for Reelz, U.S.) is bought by AMCNI for Spektrum channel (Central Europe) and FTV Prima (Czech Republic); and “Killer Cases” (season 2, 10×60’, Law&Crime Productions for True Crime Network, US) has sold to AETN (Poland). Kino (Poland) has acquired “Secret Nazi Expeditions” (6×60’, Go Button Media for Super Channel, Canada) for its Stopklatka channel and “Smart Home Nation” (10×30’, Efran Films for FYI and Crackle, U.S.) for Zoom TV.

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Meanwhile, India’s GoQuest Media has signed an exclusive AVOD rights deal with Australian’s SBS for series “Traitor” (6 x 58’), produced by Elisa Estonia and Estonian public broadcaster ERR.

EXHIBITION

Indian multiplex chain PVR Cinemas has revealed an expanded partnership agreement with laser cinema solutions provider Cinionic to equip 500 screens with Barco Series 4 4K laser projection that supports sustainability with reduced waste, lower energy consumption, and an extended lifetime. On completion of the rollout on new and existing screens, PVR will be the first exhibition chain in India to go 100% 4K RGB laser projection. The announcement was made at the ongoing CineEurope convention in Barcelona.

VIP+ Analysis: What a Changing SVOD Market Means for Streamers