Well Go Acquires U.S. Rights to Canadian Thriller ‘Broil’

Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to Canadian thriller Broil.

A digital and home entertainment release is scheduled for Oct. 13.

Directed and co-written by Edward Drake (Breach, Cosmic Sin), Broil stars Lochlyn Munro (Riverdale), Timothy V. Murphy (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) and Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry MaguireStuart Little).

It’s a seemingly classic coming-of-age story that is quickly complicated by the fact that the protagonist’s family has been hiding a dark secret for millennia. After a violent incident with an insufferable school nemesis, 17-year-old Chance Sinclair (Avery Konrad) is sent to live with her reclusive grandfather (Murphy) in his lavish mountain estate. She seeks to uncover the true origin of her eccentric grandfather’s exorbitant wealth — and a mysterious familial health condition going back generations. Quickly caught between two warring factions of the family, Chance’s only hope for survival may well come from a killer-for-hire (Lipnicki) with a fortuitous stroke of culinary genius.

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“Well Go USA is home to some of my favorite films and I’m so grateful for the hard work of the team,” said Drake in a statement. “Broil was created by a fantastic Vancouver and Victoria cast and crew. We took cues from Rosemary’s Baby, The Witch, Get Out, Succession, Barry Lyndon, You’re Next, and many more to bring Broil to life, a story which is absolutely 100% based on true events.”

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Broil explores the ways families hurt each other,” said co-writer Piper Mars in a statement. “I hope the film invites viewers to question the needless secrecy and conflict they have in their lives.”

Pluto TV Adds AMC Network Channels

Viacom’s AVOD service Pluto TV May 1 launched a suite of original AMC Networks channels, including Stories by AMC, Slightly Off by IFC, All Reality WE tv and The Walking Dead en Español.

The launch of these dedicated channels will give Pluto TV customers access to such AMC Networks content as “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Into the Badlands; IFC’s “Portlandia,” “Documentary Now! and “Brockmire; and WE tv’s “Kendra on Top and “Mary Mary.”

Select programming will also be available on demand as part of Pluto TV’s platform.

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“We are excited to partner with Pluto TV to bring AMC Networks’ acclaimed originals to our fans in new ways, as viewers continue to seek greater flexibility and choice,” said Joshua Reader, president of distribution and development for AMC Networks, in a statement. “Free ad-supported streaming is an emerging category that gives us the ability to complement the content offerings of our linear networks and other new platforms in ways that serve viewers and advertising partners — all part of our strategy to make our content available to as many people as possible in a rapidly evolving media environment. As always, compelling, distinctive and premium content is at the heart of our appeal and that of these new AMCN-Pluto channels.”

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“As we continue to see incredible growth and adoption of Pluto TV worldwide, we are thrilled to join forces with an esteemed and award-winning partner like AMC Networks,” said Amy Kuessner, SVP of content strategy and global partnerships, in a statement. “Pluto TV is the exclusive launch partner of these new channels from AMC Networks, that offer the perfect escape for viewers in search of the very best television programming that’s easy to access and free to stream.”

Stories By AMC will include past seasons of “The Walking Dead” and full series of “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Hap and Leonard” and “Into the Badlands,” as well as select seasons of “Ride with Norman Reedus,” “Making of the Mob” and police drama “Low Winter Sun.” More series joining the channel in the upcoming months include “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Preacher,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies” and “Comic Book Men.”

Slightly Off By IFC includes “Documentary Now!,” “Portlandia,”  “Sherman’s Showcase,” “Brockmire” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” More IFC series joining the channel in the coming months include “Baroness Von Sketch Show” and “Stan Against Evil.”

All Reality WE tv series include “Kendra on Top,” “L.A. Hair,” “Mary Mary,” “John Edward Cross Country,” “My Fair Wedding,” “Hustle & Soul” and “Tamar & Vince.” Additional WE tv series joining the channel in the coming months include “Bridezillas,” “Million Dollar Matchmaker,” “Cutting It in the ATL” and “Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual.”

The Walking Dead en Español channel offers “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” in Spanish.

Crackle Joins Plex Streaming Video Platform

Crackle, the ad-supported joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has joined Plex, a global streaming media platform.

Plex users will now have access to Crackle’s original content, including the recently released “On Point,” the docuseries following three high school players as they move through the AAU basketball tournaments and shoot for an enviable career in the NBA; “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and the zombie action film, “The Clearing,” starring Liam MacIntyre (“Spartacus”).

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In addition to Crackle Originals, the library of content includes Chicken Soup for the Soul’s “Hidden Heroes” and “Everyday Edisons.”

“Plex has a passionate community of users and we are excited to give them full access to Crackle’s library of free movies and TV shows, including a growing number of Originals and Exclusives not available on other AVOD platforms,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, which majority-owns Crackle.

The Crackle content joins already available titles from Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate, and Legendary.

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WarnerMedia Absorbs Xandr Ad Platform

AT&T continues to rejigger its media operations, combining WarnerMedia and ad platform Xandr for what the telecom claims will be a better advertising value proposition for brands, publishers and consumers. Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and president of WarnerMedia International, will oversee all advertising responsibilities across AT&T.

The merger was foreshadowed last month when Brian Lesser, CEO of Xandr, abruptly resigned, creating some uncertainty about the future the advertising unit.

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​Kirk McDonald, chief business officer of Xandr will continue to lead the unit, reporting directly to Zeiler. The merged goal is to accelerate new advertising formats by 2021 for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s high-profile subscription streaming video service launching this month. ​

“Now more than ever, we need to simplify advertising and further our marketplace capabilities for our customers,” Zeiler said in a statement.

As the lines between TV and digital video continue to converge, Xandr’s platform aims to make it easier for ad buyers/sellers to find audiences across multiple distribution screens.

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“This is done through one holistic conversation that spans premium content and trusted environments, alongside proven and advanced ad capabilities,” Zeiler said.

Charter Cuts Q1 Video Sub Loss More Than 50%

Cable operator Charter Communications May 1 disclosed it lost 70,000 Spectrum video subscribers in the first quarter ended March 31. The loss was 54% less than the 152,000 subs lost in the previous-year period.

The distributor added 563,000 high-speed Internet customers, up 41% from 398,000 new broadband subs last year. Spectrum ended the period with 29 million cable, Internet and voice subscribers in 41 states, including 15.5 million video. The latter down 402,000 video subs in the past 12 months.

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Charter several years ago bowed Spectrum TV Plus, a $12.99 monthly online TV service for its broadband-only subs. The service included a free Roku player. Last year Charter unveiled “TV Essentials,” a $15 monthly “skinny bundle” option for pay-TV subs.

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“Thanks to the dedication of our employees and the quality of our network, we have continued to deliver high quality connectivity services to millions of existing and new customers in the communities we serve, including homes, businesses, hospital and educational systems, and local, state and federal government institutions,” longtime CEO Tom Rutledge said in a statement.