‘Finding Your Roots,’ ‘Simply Ming’ and Doc on Artist Mark Rothko Streaming in October on PBS Living

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. Season 6, Simply Ming Season 17 and American Masters — Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous are streaming in October on PBS Living from PBS Distribution.

The PBS Living Prime Video Channel is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at $2.99 per month.

Season 17 of “Simply Ming” includes eight episodes of the cooking series hosted by Ming Tsai. In Season 17, some of Ming’s guests include French chef Jacques Pépin, king of fusion cooking Susur Lee, home cooking proponent Sara Moulton, Top Chef contestant and soul food-lover Carla Hall, Israeli chef Avi Shemtov, and “Bizarre Foods” expert Andrew Zimmern.

Season 6 (16 episodes) of “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.” begins streaming this month with two new episodes premiering in October 2019, eight episodes premiering in January 2020, and six episodes premiering in October 2020. It features 27 new guests with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. Using every tool available, from cutting-edge DNA research to old-school genealogical sleuthing, the program reveals long-buried secrets in these guests’ family histories. Among the guests are actors Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy and Sterling K. Brown; director Jordan Peele; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; journalists Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell; musicians Queen Latifah and Jon Batiste; fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Zac Posen; as well as a host of other luminaries, including Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Eric Stonestreet, Issa Rae, Amy Ryan and Justina Machado. Some of the guests whose stories are revisited in this season include actors Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei; journalist Lisa Ling; radio talk show host Joe Madison; musician Questlove; and late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Streaming beginning Oct. 26 is American Masters — Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Mark Rothko’s signature style helped define Abstract Expressionism, the movement that shifted the center of the art world from Paris to New York. This is an intimate portrait of the celebrated painter whose luminous canvasses now set records at international auctions. Interviews with Rothko’s children, Kate and Christopher, as well as leading curators, art historians and conservators present a comprehensive look at the artist’s life and career, complemented by original scenes with Alfred Molina in the role of Rothko. Molina performs segments from Rothko’s diaries, and the documentary features clips from the six-time Tony-winning play Red.

Amazon Prime Channels Launches in Mexico

Amazon has expanded its Prime Channels video platform to Mexico, affording members in the country access to third-party subscription streaming video services.

Launched in 2015 in the United States, Prime Channels is an attempt to thwart online TV and pay-TV by offering Prime subscribers direct access to alternative streaming services.

The platform has been credited helping SVOD services such as HBO Now, StarzPlay, Cinedigm’s Dove Channel, CBS’ Showtime OTT, BritBox and Viacom’s Paramount+ generate sustainable subscriber bases.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We are excited to bring even more selection to our Prime members in Mexico with the launch of Prime Video Channels,” Greg Hart, VP of Amazon Prime Video, said in a statement. “By simplifying our customers’ entertainment experience all within the Prime Video app, we can make it even easier for them to select, subscribe and enjoy their favorite TV shows and movies from our channel providers.”

Amazon Prime Channels is also available in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Japan and Canada.

 

PGA to Live-Stream The Players Championship for the First Time in 2020

The PGA Tour has been available via over-the-top video for a few years but largely relegated to highlight clips, previews and lesser known events.

Now the PGA, beginning in 2020, will for the first time live-stream the full field of a major tournament: The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The video event will showcase more than 32,000 shots over 72 holes from a starting field of 144 – live – using nearly 120 cameras positioned throughout course, with each group of players having its own dedicated stream.

Live streams will be available through PGA Tour Live SVOD service, NBC Sports Gold or Amazon Prime Channels.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The PGA Tour and NBC Sports Group in 2018 announced a new multi-year digital partnership that made NBC Sports Gold the domestic home of PGA Tour Live.

“Our vision is to bring every shot in every PGA Tour golf tournament live and on-demand to our fans, and this is the first step to making that happen,” Rick Anderson, chief media officer for the PGA Tour, said in a statement.

PGA Tour Live Live expanded its coverage for the 2019-2020 season from seven events between September and December.

This includes, for the first time ever, live streaming from the Presidents Cup at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia taking place Dec. 12th – 15th.

All told, approximately 140 hours of additional live content is available, bringing more than 1,100 total hours to subscribers and extending live content across each month of the calendar year.

With NBC Sports Gold and Prime Channels available on dozens of connected devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, PGA Tour OTT video consumption has spiked 33% in 2019.

“Super-serving golf fans with more comprehensive coverage of The Players is emblematic of our commitment to elevating this championship and builds upon our success in adding enhancements to PGA Tour Live on NBC Sports Gold,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group.

 

Facebook Testing Third-Party Streaming Service Access

Facebook has taken a page from Amazon offering users direct access to third-party subscription streaming services such as BritBox and CollegeHumor’s DropOut, Tastemade and MotorTrend.

The social media behemoth, which announced the domestic test Aug. 8, hopes to get users to remain on the platform longer — a draw for advertisers.

“We’re testing video subscriptions on Facebook, starting with a limited set of partners,” the company said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring more of people’s favorite shows and video to Facebook. We’ll be listening to feedback from our community.”

The campaign mirrors efforts by Amazon Prime Channels and Apple TV+ offering third-party SVODs services direct access to their consumers.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

SVOD services such as Lionsgate’s StarzPlay and Cinedigm’s Dove Channel, Docurama and CONtv have credited Amazon with jumpstarting subscriber growth for their platforms.

CollegeHumor’s DropOut service is priced at $4.99 monthly, with BritBox at $6.99; Tastmade at $2.99 and MotorTrend at $4.99.

Facebook, similarly to Amazon and Apple, will handle the billing. It wasn’t immediately clear if it would also take a revenue cut as Amazon and Apple do. Amazon also maintains control on all third-party user data.

PBS Kids Launches Spanish-Language Shows on Amazon Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution has launched Spanish-language versions of a variety of PBS Kids programs on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Spanish-language versions of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Scigirls,” “Cyberchase” and “Caillou” debuted on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel May 24.

“We’re excited to expand our PBS KIDS channel offering to include a selection of episodes presented in Spanish,” said Andrea Downing, co-president, PBS Distribution, in a statement. “Our aim is to provide educational and entertaining programming for all kids, and this expansion helps further that mission.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The launch includes a total of 30 episodes of PBS Kids programming available in Spanish. Subscribers of the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Channel will not need to pay any extra fee for the newly available programs.

‘Apple Channels’ Platform Launches Offering Access to Third-Party Streaming Services

Apple May 13 has formally launched “Apple Channels,” an app enabling users access to third-party subscription streaming services such as HBO Now, Showtime OTT and Lionsgate-owned Starz, among others.

The platform mimics Amazon Prime Channels, which bowed in 2015 offering Prime members direct access to HBO Now, Showtime, CBS All Access, Shudder, Sundance Now, Dove Channel, Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, among other others.

Amazon Channels, which maintains control over third-party OTT usage among Prime members, in addition to revenue sharing deals, has been credited by WarnerMedia, LIonsgate and CBS for driving subscriber growth for their respective brands.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Apple Channels reportedly is getting from 15% to 30% of third-party revenue from subscribers registering through The App Store on Apple devices.

In addition, Apple Channels users can only stream third-party content through its app on Apple devices; not on other platforms such as Roku, Google Chromecast or PlayStation Vue, among others.

Current third-party SVOD subs can access the platforms through Apple Channels. The platform is not Apple TV+, the new SVOD platform launching later this year.

NPD: Online TV Reaches 15% U.S. Household Penetration

Spurred by the influx of online TV services and connected TVs, direct-to-consumer channel adoption has grown three-fold over the last three years to reach 15% of U.S. households, according to new data from The NPD Group.

DTC video subs are defined as current subscribers to any à la carte TV channel that does not require a pay TV subscription from a cable or satellite TV provider. Excludes content aggregators such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

While nearly 87% of DTC subscribers say they are likely to add channels in the next year – doing so to replace linear pay-TV is not among the leading reasons why.

NPD conducted a survey Feb. 6-11, 2019 of 1,000 domestic consumers, aged 18+ from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds.

In fact, cord-cutting, or pay-TV subs looking to replace cable, ranks just 16th out of 20 reasonscited, according to the Direct-to-Consumer Video Online Study.

A majority of DTC subs (66%) do so in addition to the traditional cable or satellite TV bundle. Low cost to entry is driving adoption and that is the top reason cited for subscribing to à la carte TV channels, with the ability to subscribe only to the channels desired.

“It is imperative for players in this space to understand where consumers prefer to sign up,” analyst John Buffone said in a statement. “Consumers can now subscribe to only the channels they want and get the benefit of a single billing vendor and user interface.”

NPD said online TV market growth will come from both current subs adding channels and new subs. Looking at the combined group of current and prospective subs with a positive likelihood to sign up in the next 12-months, the most likely destination for subscribing to online TV is Amazon Prime Channels (31%), followed by the TV channel’s app (26%).

“[Online TV] aggregators such as Amazon, Roku, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue, stand to gain a lot by garnering subscription revenue for managing [their] channel transactions,” Buffone said.

 

PBS Distribution Launches Lifestyle Content Streaming Service PBS Living

PBS Distribution has launched PBS Living, a new streaming service featuring public media lifestyle content across the food and cooking, home, culture, and travel genres.

The service is available by subscription from Prime Video Channels on Amazon for $2.99 per month after a seven-day free trial.

The channel offers subscribers a curated selection of hundreds of episodes from award-winning series with new content to be added each month. Content includes both classic and current series, such as Julia Childs’s “The French Chef,” “This Old House,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “No Passport Required,” “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street,” “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Born to Explore.”

“Public television has a long history as a home for unique and compelling lifestyle programs,” said Andrea Downing, co-president of PBS Distribution, in a statement. “We are excited to offer viewers another way to explore their passions and find inspiration through these series, with the convenience of being able to watch anywhere, at any time.”

Select programs are also streaming in PBS Passport, a digital member benefit available through local stations.

“Contact,” “The Court” and “Inspector Falke” Among Six “Walter Presents” Foreign Series Streaming on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video in March

PBS Distribution in March will begin streaming six new series from the “Walter Present’s” library on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel –– “Contact,” “The Court,” “Dead Beautiful,” “Flight HS13,” “Framed” and “Inspector Falke.”

“Walter Presents,” which launched in January 2016 in the United Kingdom as a video-on-demand service and is a joint venture between Channel 4 and Global Series Network, partnered with PBS Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in October 2018. The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is available to Prime members for $5.99 a month after a seven-day free trial.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!

Eight episodes of the French series “Contact” will be available March 4. The series follows Thomas Jouannet, who was sentenced to life after avenging his parent’s brutal murder and the kidnapping of his sister. He is freed after serving only 15 years when he makes a deal with the FBI to use his extraordinary ability — psychometry — to solve crimes. When he touches an object, he feels the “psychic footprint” of its owner, envisioning its owner’s memories, emotions and secrets. However, there is one stipulation — he cannot leave the United States. But, once he receives a mysterious package containing an object that shows his brother in trouble, Thomas heads for France. Having broken the arrangement, he now has the FBI on his tail while trying to save his brother’s life.

Also streaming beginning March 4 are six episodes of the Icelandic series “The Court.” The legal drama follows the professional and personal lives of three Reykjavik lawyers. Logi is one of the country’s most brilliant legal minds and the most troubled. He’s determined to uncover the truth about what really happened one night in his youth — an incident that left a man dead and Logi in prison for manslaughter. But his internal demons threaten to send him spiraling into alcoholism. Standing between Logi and self-destruction are his colleagues — two lawyers, Brynhildur and Hordur, whose own private lives are far from simple.

Streaming beginning March 11 are nine episodes of the French crime drama “Dead Beautiful,” It centers on the self-loathing police commissioner Martin — a compassionate investigator who is dedicated to solving some of the most shocking crimes against women. While trying to solve these crimes, Martin also juggles the three women in his life: his ex-wife, the police psychiatrist and his girlfriend, journalist Marion. Each episode pits Martin against a new killer.

Streaming beginning March 18 are 10 episodes of the Dutch thriller “Flight HS13,” which follows Liz and Simon, a seemingly happily married couple who have everything they could possibly want ‚ a lovely son, a beautiful home and successful careers. But their perfect life is over when Simon boards a plane — flight HS13 — to attend a conference in Barcelona.  A few hours later, Liz’s world collapses when she hears Simon’s plane has crashed. No one survived. Very quickly her grief turns to shock and disbelief when she finds out that Simon never actually checked in for the flight. His name was not on the passenger list.

Streaming beginning March 25 are 10 episodes from another Dutch series “Framed.” Communications consultant Michael Bellicher has just received a promotion at his software firm and a party is being held in his honor to announce it. When an ex-lover appears, however, he lapses back into his unfaithful ways and things begin to spiral out of control. His wife is sick of it and packs her bags. Things suddenly get even worse when that ex-lover suddenly turns up dead. His identity is stolen, and he is forced to become a fugitive when he is framed for the murder.  Though family and friends doubt his innocence, Bellicher eventually forms an alliance with his newly transgender sister and a computer hacker, Vince. Together, they set out to uncover what is really going on.

Also streaming beginning March 25 are seven episodes of the German series “Inspector Falke.” Thorsten Falke is a devoted police officer who has traded in a family and a social life in the name of justice. Having grown up in the throes of Hamburg’s grimy underbelly, he is now proud to take a stand against crime in his hometown. Falke and his partner, Katharina Lorenz, work to bring down the ruthless criminal gangs threatening Hamburg.