London’s National Theatre Launches SVOD Platform

In a sign of the pandemic times, London’s National Theatre has launched a subscription streaming video service featuring VOD access to past stage productions. National Theatre at Home costs $12.99 monthly or $129.99 annually. For access to a single play in a 72-hour window, it will be $8 for an archive title and National Theatre Live titles are available from $10.99.

The service launches with productions, including the first-ever National Theatre Live, “Phèdre” with Helen Mirren (The Queen), “Othello” with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s “Yerma” with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s catalog of filmed stage production will be added to the platform every month. In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time, including Lucy Kirkwood’s “Mosquitoes” with Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”.

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National Theatre at Home’s digital streaming offer was first made available in the U.K. during the first COVID-19 lockdown when theaters and cinemas were shuttered. For 16 weeks from the beginning of April until the end of July, productions were made available for free on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel, which were then available on-demand for seven days. This resulted in over 15 million views for 16 productions over four months and reached 173 countries around the world.

“From homemade tickets to interval drinks, ‘NT at Home’ is a way of making people feel more connected … after what has been a very tough
2020 for so many,” Lisa Burger, executive director and joint chief executive of the National Theatre, said in a statement. “And so, since the last [free] stream finished in July, we have been determined to find a way to give our audiences access to these stunning filmed productions online once again.”

Liam Neeson Thriller ‘Honest Thief’ Available Digitally Dec. 8, on Disc Dec. 29

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the thriller Honest Thief through digital retailers Dec. 8, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 29.

Written, directed and produced by Mark Williams, the film stars Liam Neeson as a notorious bank robber who turns himself in after falling in love, only to be double-crossed by a pair of corrupt FBI agents. The merciless agents soon discover there’s nothing more dangerous than an elite criminal mastermind seeking justice.

The cast also includes Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney, Anthony Ramos, Jeffrey Donovan and Robert Patrick.

Honest Thief earned $13.5 million at the domestic box office.

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Fight-Themed SVOD Platform DAZN Bows Globally

DAZN, the London-based sports streaming platform that last year signed Mexican boxing champion Canelo Álvarez to an 11-fight, $365 million fight deal, has launched SVOD service in 200 countries. The initial monthly price point for new markets will be £1.99 or less.

The platform will debut with back-to-back weekends featuring boxing events with international appeal. On Dec. 5, budding lightweight American star Ryan Garcia takes on the battle-tested Brit and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell. On Dec. 12, unified heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his world titles against Bulgarian mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.

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“From the U.K. to Mexico to Australia, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest in our key events since first launching in 2016,” EVP Joseph Markowski said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to introducing the platform around the world … with an exciting schedule of fights.”

In addition to world championship boxing events, the service will stream past classic fights, athlete features and a slate of original programming, including “40 Days,” “Saturday Fight Live” and “One Night.” Additional sports and programming will be added beginning in 2021.

The DAZN app is available on most Internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, and living room devices such as smart TVs, streaming sticks and game consoles.