Disney Licensing Movies, TV Shows to Amazon Prime Video in Latin America

Disney is set to release a branded subscription streaming video service on Nov. 12 featuring branded movies, TV shows and original content.

In the interim, Disney is reportedly licensing select movies and TV shows to Amazon Prime Video in Latin America, beginning Oct. 1, according to Variety, which first reported the deal.

Prime Video is available in Mexico and Brazil with e-commerce, while operating as a standalone service elsewhere in South America.

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The agreement, through September 2020, includes theatrical and home entertainment hits Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Other movies include The Lion King, Mary Poppins Returns, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent, pending sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

In addition, Prime Video is licensing ABC and FX series “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Walking Dead,” “American Horror Story” and “How I Met Your Mother,” among others.

 

Mob Drama ‘The Kitchen’ Due on Digital Oct. 22, Disc Nov. 5 From Warner

The female-driven mob drama The Kitchen arrives on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Oct. 22 and Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 5 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Based on the Vertigo comic book series from DC Entertainment, the film stars Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Tammy), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, Night School) and Elisabeth Moss (TV’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” TV’s “Mad Men”) as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. The three women take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition.

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The film, which earned $12.2 million in domestic theaters, is written and directed by Andrea Berloff, who was nominated for an Oscar for Original Screenplay for Straight Outta Compton.

Extras on Blu-ray include “Running Hell’s Kitchen,” “Taking Over the Neighborhood,” and a deleted scene. “Running Hell’s Kitchen” is included on the DVD.

FandangoNow Launches Imax Enhanced

FandangoNow, the transactional VOD service from Fandango — in collaboration with Imax Corp. and DTS — Oct. 1 announced the launch of Imax Enhanced on select Sony 4K Android TVs in the United States.

Additional devices will be added in the coming months.

Imax Enhanced combines exclusive, digitally remastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies with the high-end consumer electronics.

Starting Oct. 1, fans can rent Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Spider-Man: Far From Home — featuring 45 minutes of Imax’s exclusive expanded aspect ratio. In addition, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Angry Birds Movie 2, as well as Paramount Pictures’ Bumblebee, among other blockbuster movies, will be part of FandangoNow’s exclusive line-up of Imax Enhanced titles.

The collaboration with Imax Enhanced will add dozens of new titles to FandangoNow.

FandangoNow meets Imax Enhanced’s standard for 4K HDR streaming and uses a special variant of the DTS codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an Imax signature sound experience with more immersive, powerful sound, according to the company.

Imax Enhanced is supported by participating studios such as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures, as well as a roster of 15 device partners across televisions, projectors and A/V receivers — all of which have met performance requirements set by Imax, DTS and leading technical specialists throughout Hollywood.

More Than 40% of U.S. Households Interested in 5G

More than 33% of U.S. broadband households cite some level of familiarity with 5G and more than 40% of U.S. broadband households are interested in 5G, according to new research from Parks Associates.

The report Technology Market Assessment: 5G Network Services examines several aspects of 5G, including the condition of the mobile market, consumer sentiments toward 5G services and products, service availability, use cases, and competition. It explores the impact of 5G on fixed broadband, wireless services, and includes a five-year forecast for 5G and other mobile data services.

“More than half of U.S. broadband households are unfamiliar with 5G, despite aggressive marketing from mobile service providers,” said Craig Leslie, senior research analyst with Parks Associates. “Limited service availability is impacting consumer awareness; however, once the technology is explained to them, almost half are interested in replacing their fixed-line internet service with 5G home services.”

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Limited 5G availability also means that it will not replace 4G LTE or fixed services anytime soon, the firm predicts.

“With spotty coverage, providers will need to run 4G in parallel with 5G services so there is ‘fallback’ connectivity for areas lacking coverage,” according to the firm.

Providers see the need to offer 5G services, though, as their availability is a significant influencer in service provider selection, even if consumers are unwilling to pay more for 5G, according to Parks.

“Beyond higher speed, consumers are failing to see the value of 5G over their current subscriptions — only 13% of smartphone users are willing to pay higher subscriptions fees for 5G mobile services,” Leslie said. “Operators will need to increase consumer understanding through better communicating 5G use cases and benefits in order to convince them to upgrade services.”

Additional research findings include 31% of U.S. broadband households consider 5G availability to be very important when choosing a new mobile service provider and 20% of U.S. broadband households purchased a smartphone in the first quarter of 2019, down from 40% in the first quarter of 2016.

Federal Appeals Courts Upholds Net Neutrality Deregulation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Oct. 1 affirmed the basic principles of Republican-led efforts to deregulate net neutrality guidelines established during the Obama Administration.

The three-judge panel did rule against the FCC superseding state efforts to impose local guidelines where the federal government did not.

“We uphold the 2018 order, with two exceptions,” the court wrote. “The order failed to examine the implications of its decisions for public safety; the order does not sufficiently explain what reclassification will mean for regulation of pole attachments; and the agency did not adequately address petitioners’ concerns about the effects of broadband reclassification.”

Dubbed “2017 Restoring Internet Freedom,” the bill reclassified the Internet under less restrictive Title I provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 under President Franklin Roosevelt.

Under Title II provisions of the Communications Act approved by the FCC under Obama, commerce and video distribution on the Internet, including ISP distribution of broadband to consumers, was regulated more rigorously as a utility.

Conservatives argued net neutrality guidelines would negatively impact business investment, among other issues.

 

Ryan Reynolds Teases DVD in New Netflix Movie Tweet

Actor Ryan Reynolds apparently still loves DVD.

The actor Oct. 1 went on social media to announce the launch date of his new Netflix vigilante action movie, 6 Underground, launching Dec. 13.

Directed by Michael Bay, the movie about six billionaires who fake their deaths to pursue criminals also stars Mélanie Laurent, Dave Franco, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, and Ben Hardy.

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In a twist, Reynolds on Twitter posted: “Warm up those DVD players because we’re coming to a mailbox near you, December 13th!”

The tweet included an image of Netflix’s legacy by-mail DVD, Blu-ray Disc rental service, which still caters to about 3 million monthly subscribers in the United States.

‘Stranger Things’ Spends 14th Week Atop Parrot Analytics’ TV Demand Charts

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” remained No. 1 on not only Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended Sept. 28, but also the data firm’s overall list of TV series from any platform, including broadcast and cable, for the 14th straight week.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

For the week, “Stranger Things” registered 89.3 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. That was up 1.1% in expressions compared with the previous week.

DC Universe’s “Titans” held onto the No. 2 spot on the digital originals chart, with expressions down 4.2% to 50.7 million. The show is in the midst of its second season.

Netflix’s “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” rose a spot to No. 3, with expressions down 7.2% to 37.8 million.

The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” dropped a spot to No. 4, with expressions down 20.7% to 35.3 million.

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” held onto the No. 5 spot, with expressions dropping 4.5% to 33.3 million.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Family-Friendly Streaming Video Service ‘Frndly TV’ Launches

Disney pledges its pending Disney+ subscription streaming service will target families with appropriate content when launching in November.

Getting a jumpstart on Disney+, the Oct. 1 launch of rival platform Frndly TV, which claims to offer the first-ever live and on-demand streaming service tailored specifically to the family viewing audience and priced at $5.99 per month.

“While more live streaming services have become available over the last few years, none of them focus on the American family,” Bassil El-Khatib, CEO, Frndly TV, said in a statement.

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At launch, Frndly TV offers live and on-demand programming across 12 different channels, expanding to 20 channels over the next year.

The full lineup includes: Hallmark Channel, Game Show Network, The Weather Channel, Outdoor Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, PixL, Light TV, BabyFirst TV, QVC, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network.

“Our channel lineup was hand-selected to meet the needs of our target audience, the American family,” El-Khatib said.

Frndly TV features include:

  • Linear TV guide: Viewers can browse TV shows the way they are accustomed to, with the very familiar and highly sought after linear grid guide.
  • Unlimited cloud DVR: Never run out of space. No worrying about managing your DVR. Truly record your favorite shows and movies and watch them whenever you want on any available device.
  • More than 1,000 on-demand titles: Browse Frndly TV’s on-demand catalog, featuring more than 1,000 titles.
  • 72-hour “Look Back”: Go back 72 hours and watch any programming that aired in that timeframe with the “Look Back” feature. No more forgetting to set the DVR or waiting for the on-demand asset to become available.
  • Start a program live from the beginning: Don’t worry if you tune-in halfway through the program, Frndly TV allows viewers to start over from the beginning across every network.
  • Available on popular devices: Stream from the comfort of your own home on Roku, Amazon, and Chromecast or on-the-go with iOS and Android. Apple TV will also be available by the end of the year.

For an additional two dollars more per month ($7.99/month), viewers will get access to high definition content, the ability to watch on two devices simultaneously and unlimited Cloud DVR that stores your favorite shows for up to 30 days – plus look back and on-demand access, similar to the core service.

And for just two dollars more a month ($9.99/month), viewers will get everything previously mentioned plus the ability to stream on four devices simultaneously and unlimited Cloud DVR that stores all recordings for 90 days.

Frndly TV Guide Screenshot

TiVo Rolls Out Enhanced Set-Top Device; Streaming Service Pending

TiVo Oct. 1 began rolling out a new set-top device that enables users easier connections to video content delivered via antenna or cable.

TiVo Edge gives viewers access to live, recorded, and streaming content, featuring Dolby Atmos audio and Dolby Vision HDR resolution.

The device, which links with the pending TiVo+ streaming service, offers features such as software allowing viewers to skip to the end of a commercial break; simultaneously search live TV, DVR recordings and streaming apps for content; and “track down” every season and episode of favorite shows, automatically recording current and upcoming episodes and adding them to a playlist ready to be watched in order.

“Today people face confusion and overwhelming choice when it comes to home entertainment — U.S. households have an average of 7.2 entertainment subscriptions, and that’s growing all the time,” CEO Dave Shull said in a statement.

TiVo Edge for antenna is a cost-effective alternative to cable TV, providing a less expensive cable box experience, according to the company. The antenna model includes a two TB hard drive (up to 300 HD hours), and four tuners.

TiVo Edge for cable claims a seamless experience between cable and online TV programming, including access to all major streaming services. The cable model also includes a two TB hard drive (up to 300 HD hours) along with six tuners.

The TiVo EDGE for antenna retails for $349.99 and requires a service plan of $6.99 monthly, $69.99 annually or a one-time All-In-Plan for $249.99. TiVo EDGE for cable is available for $399.99 and requires a service plan of $14.99 monthly, $149.99 annually or a one-time All-In-Plan for $549.99.

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“Everyone at TiVo is passionate about helping viewers make sense of that sea of options by bringing all their entertainment together in one place,” Shull said.

Available exclusively to TiVo customers in the coming weeks, TiVo+ delivers live streaming channels and thousands of movies and TV shows to viewers in an app-free environment.

TiVo+ combines entertainment including news, sports, kids shows, dramas, music TV, reality shows, pop culture, cooking shows, lifestyle, esports gaming and international programming alongside the TV and subscription services people already use and love.

TiVo has partnered with Xumo, Jukin Media and other publishers to make channels like TMZ, Outside TV+, PowerNation, FailArmy, Unsolved Mysteries, Hell’s Kitchen | Kitchen Nightmares, Food52 and Ameba among others available at launch. Pending publishers include Gannett, Loop Media, Revry, Newsy, Tastemade, Latido Music and Mobcrush.