‘South Park: The Pandemic Special’ Tops Newcomers on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart; ‘Ava’ Remains No. 1

Comedy Central’s South Park: The Pandemic Special was the top new release on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart, coming in at No. 13 the week ended Oct. 3.

The standalone hourlong special, which satirizes society’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, aired Sept. 30 on Comedy Central and became available on HBO Max and other online sources the next day. The special is technically the start of the show’s 24th season, although additional episodes have not yet been scheduled.

The No. 1 title on the chart for a second consecutive week was Ava, a thriller from Vertical Entertainment that stars Jessica Chastain as an assassin. The movie is also available to rent on disc exclusively from Redbox. However, the Watched at Home chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, does not account for rental data.

The rest of the top 20 wasn’t much different from the previous week.

No. 2 was Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which moved up one spot from the previous week.

The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone” continued to occupy the top 10, with the third season at No. 3, the first season at No. 5, and the second season at No. 6.

No. 4 was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, climbing eight spots as Halloween-themed titles begin to assert themselves during October. Always a top seller around Halloween time, the 1993 film about three Salem witches who are resurrected in modern times was given a boost this year by a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray re-release.

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Likewise, Warner’s 1988 spooky comedy Beetlejuice returned to the list at No. 11 after a few weeks off the list, which it was on a few weeks ago after its own 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release.

And Disney’s 1993 animated fantasy The Nightmare Before Christmas joined the list for the first time at No. 16.

  1. Ava (Vertical)
  2. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  3. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  4. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  6. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  7. Alone (Magnolia)
  8. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. Rick and Morty: Season 4 (Warner)
  10. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  11. Beetlejuice (Warner)
  12. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  13. South Park: The Pandemic Special (Paramount/Comedy Central)
  14. Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (Lionsgate)
  15. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  16. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney)
  17. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  18. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  19. The Silencing (Lionsgate)
  20. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Oct. 3.

‘South Park’ 23rd Season on Disc June 23

Paramount Home Entertainment will release South Park: Season 23  on Blu-ray Disc and DVD June 23.

The uncensored collector’s edition features the 300th episode of the series. This season the “South Park” characters explore the wonders of the human biome, tackle the consequences of immigration and get banned in China.

The Blu-ray will include #SocialCommentary with fun trivia and behind-the-scenes tidbits on each episode.

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“South Park”

‘South Park’ Coming to HBO Max in June 2020

HBO Max, the upcoming streaming platform from WarnerMedia set to launch in May 2020, has secured exclusive streaming rights in the U.S. to Comedy Central’s “South Park.”

The multiyear licensing deal was completed with South Park Digital Studios, a joint venture between Viacom and “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. All 23 seasons of Parker and Stone’s award-winning animated satire will become available exclusively on the streamer in June 2020 followed by three new seasons, which will debut on HBO Max 24 hours after each episode premieres on Comedy Central.

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“‘South Park’ is unequivocally among the best — setting the satirical gold standard, with a consistent finger on the comedy pulse,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, and president of TBS, TNT, and TruTV. “Audiences have connected with Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny — either alive or dead — for over 20 years, and we look forward to connecting these characters to new audiences on HBO Max.”

For the past six years, “South Park” has been the No. 1 primetime cable comedy among young adults, garnering 44 million viewers on cable last year alone. Since premiering in 1997, “South Park” has earned 19 Emmy Award nominations, five Emmy wins and a Peabody Award.

A Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter recently reported that Viacom and the “South Park” creators were poised to reap between $450 million and $500 million by selling the streaming rights to the irreverent animated series.

Comedy Central to Live-Stream 24 Hours of Free Stand-Up Content on Its YouTube Channel

Viacom’s Comedy Central is opening its vault of half-hour stand-up specials for a 24-hour live stream event on its Stand-Up channel on YouTube.

The live stream, which begins Oct. 17 at 11 p.m. ET, covers specials curated from the past two decades, include performances from Kevin Hart (2004), Jim Gaffigan (2000), Amy Schumer (2010), John Mulaney (2009), Zach Galifianakis (2001), Patton Oswalt (1999), Michael Che (2014), Gabriel Iglesias (2003), Anthony Jeselnik (2009), Daniel Tosh (2003), Sebastian Maniscalco (2008), Chris Redd (2017) and Donald Glover (2010).

The event culminates with the on-air premiere of the new season of “Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents …,” with back-to-back episodes on Oct. 18 at 11p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.

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The half-hour comedy specials will also air throughout the weekend on PlutoTV, the ad-supported VOD service owned by Viacom.

The selection of half-hour stand-up specials to stream include:

Cristela Alonzo (2013)
Dave Attell (1999)
Maria Bamford (2001)
Joel Kim Booster (2017)
Neal Brennan (2012)
Matthew Broussard (2016)
Bo Burnham (2009)
Michelle Buteau (2015)
Michael Che (2014)
Chris D’Elia (2011)
Chris Distefano (2014)
Naomi Ekperigin (2016)
Rachel Feinstein (2014)
Nate Fernald (2016)
Jo Firestone (2017)
Ron Funches (2014)
Jim Gaffigan (2000)
Zach Galifianakis (2001)
Noah Gardenswartz (2016)
Garfunkel And Oates (2012)
Solomon Georgio (2017)
Chris Gethard (2014)
Greg Giraldo (2000)
Nikki Glaser (2013)
Donald Glover (2010)
Kevin Hart (2004)
Mitch Hedberg (1999)
Emily Heller (2016)
Lil Rel Howery (2013)
Gabriel Iglesias (2003)
Sam Jay (2017)
Anthony Jeselnik (2009)
Josh Johnson (2017)
Kyle Kinane (2011)
Jessi Klein (2011)
Michael Kosta (2011)
Pete Lee (2009)
Natasha Leggero (2011)
Gabe Liedman (2013)
Joe List (2015)
Sebastian Maniscalco (2008)
Demetri Martin (2004)
Sam Morril (2015)
John Mulaney (2009)
Aparna Nancherla (2016)
Mark Normand (2014)
Tig Notaro (2004)
Jacqueline Novak (2016)
Patrice O’Neal (2003)
Patton Oswalt (1999)
Brian Regan (2000)
Chris Redd (2017)
Ramon Rivas (2016)
Casey James Salengo (2017)
Yamaneika Saunders (2017)
Kristen Schaal (2009)
Amy Schumer (2010)
Rory Scovel (2012)
Ali Siddiq (2016)
Dan Soder (2013)
Beth Stelling (2015)
Brody Stevens (2014)
Nick Swardson (2001)
Julio Torres (2017)
Shane Torres (2017)
Daniel Tosh (2003)
Liza Treyger (2015)
Baron Vaughn (2013)
Jenny Zigrino (2017)

Viacom Expands Pluto TV Access to Android Devices in Europe

Viacom has expanded access to its ad-supported streaming video service, Pluto TV, on Android devices in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Pluto TV will be available via its app on Google Play and connected televisions.

Acquired earlier this year for $340 million, Pluto TV represents Viacom’s most-ambitious attempt to expand brand awareness and exposure in the over-the-top video ecosystem worldwide.

Viacom brands include Paramount Pictures, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

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With Netflix and Amazon Prime Video dominating the SVOD market, Viacom contends free ad-supported streaming video represents a competitive alternative.

Pluto TV users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have access to more than 30 thematically-curated channels, including Pluto TV Movies, KultKrimi and recently-launched Comedy Central Pluto TV and Comedy Central — Made in Germany.

Pluto TV in the U.K. features more than 60 channels, including Pluto TV Movies, Pluto TV Indies, Pluto TV Inside and Pluto TV Crime.

Pluto TV launched earlier this month on Apple TV and iOS, and is now available on all major mobile devices and TVs.

Olivier Jollet, managing director Europe, Pluto TV, said that as today’s media consumption diversifies, premium video content isn’t limited to the TV.

“With the launch on Android tablets and mobile devices, Pluto TV is available right in our users’ pocket … on the couch, on their daily commute or at their holiday destination.”

Pluto TV Ups Viacom Programming Slate

Viacom-owned ad-supported online TV streaming service Pluto TV Aug. 6 unveiled a new slate of genre and “pop-up” channels rolling out throughout the month with content licensed from Viacom’s IP library.

Viacom, which owns and operates Paramount Pictures, acquired Los Angeles-based Pluto TV earlier this year for $340 million.

This marks the latest installment of Viacom channels for Pluto TV this year, featuring original programming from BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and TV Land separate from the pay-TV ecosystem.

The new channels include a lineup of 150+ live, linear, curated channels and thousands of on-demand movies from studios, networks, publishers and digital media companies.

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Genre channels feature differentiated programming from Viacom’s brands that include music videos, comedy, drama, and reality. Pop-Up channels are themed around high-profile, live entertainment events showcasing programming from past years and previews of what’s to come.

Streaming channels include “MTV VMA,” “CMT Cheerleaders,” “Comedy Central Roast,” “TV Land Sitcoms,” “TV Land Drama,” “MTV Wild ‘N Out,” “MTV Ridiculousness,” “MTV The Challenge,” “MTV Cribs” and “Are You the One?”

“With this new slate of Viacom channels, Pluto TV continues to deliver on the promise of extending iconic Viacom brands and content to a growing streaming audience,” Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, said in a statement. “We saw an incredible response to the Viacom channels we launched earlier this year and are excited to be able to expand the offering with even more programming and events including the revival of music videos on streaming television with the launch of the first three of many MTV-branded music video channels.”

 

Viacom’s Pluto TV Inks Deal with U.K.’s Channel 5

When Viacom acquired ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million earlier this year, the corporate parent to Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon, had scant over-the-top video distribution.

Now, thanks to aggressive dealmaking, Pluto TV is expanding Viacom’s digital content reach globally.

The Los Angeles-based platform signed a distribution deal with Channel 5, the TV broadcaster in the United Kingdom owned by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN).

Specifically, three branded channels — Pluto TV Drama, Pluto TV Food and Pluto TV Movies – are headed to Channel 5’s “My5” OTT platform — the latter distributed through Apple TV, YouView, Freeview and related devices.

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“Collaborating with a well-established VOD platform like My5 allows us to pursue our ongoing goal to further enhance Pluto TV’s visibility in the U.K.,”  Olivier Jollet, Pluto’s managing director in Europe, said in a statement. “The three curated Pluto TV channels not only add to My5’s existing line-up, but also enable the My5 audience to experience a small portion of Pluto TV’s diverse programming.”

Pluto has expanded distribution (and Viacom content) through recent deals involving Comcast Cable’s X1 platform, Cox Contour, CNN, Cinedigm and BBC Studios.

“This is a global opportunity,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said earlier this year. “It’s going to accelerate our strategy on multiple dimensions. We see a very material opportunity there.”

Indeed, Oli Thomas, VP of digital at VIMN in the U.K., Northern and Eastern Europe, said the MY5 arrangement elevates the U.K. broadcaster’s streamer’s diversity in OTT content.

“The Pluto TV channels further enhance our proposition in the U.K.,” he said. “We know that movies and drama in particular work well in the on-demand space and we’re thrilled to debut such an exciting range of library content on My5.”

Viacom Takes Paramount+ Streaming Service to Latin America; Inks CNN Content Deal with Pluto TV

Viacom International Media Networks is set to expand the Paramount+ streaming video platform to Latin America.

The SVOD service, which first launched in Scandinavia (in response to HBO Nordics in 2017 and later in Central and Eastern Europe – known as Paramount Play), will become available May 1 in Brazil in a partnership with telecom NET, followed by wider distribution through a mobile deal with America Movil.

Paramount+ affords Viacom and Paramount Pictures international streaming distribution of more than 150 movies and original TV shows, including “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, “The Handmaids’ Tale” (available exclusively on Hulu in the U.S.), in addition to branded content from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.

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“By forging partnerships with the world’s leading operators and distributors, we are able to bring Viacom’s premium content to new global audiences,” David Lynn, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, said in a media statement. “As the media landscape continues to evolve, we will aggressively innovate to expand our partner offerings, including Paramount+, across our massive global footprint.”

Indeed, while Paramount+ represents Viacom’s aggressive strategy to close the digital divide with rival studios, following the recent purchase of Pluto TV, Viacom is fortifying the ad-supported VOD platform with proprietary and third-party content.

Pluto TV just announced a new channel launch featuring content from WarnerMedia’s CNN – which itself is planning an OTT video product in 2020.

“At a time when news cycles are never-ending, in a world that is constantly evolving, CNN’s coveted daily reporting and in-depth features are perfect for our audience to be informed, with immediacy, accuracy and ease,” Amy Kuessner, SVP of content partnerships at Pluto TV, said in a statement. “Pluto TV’s mission to ‘entertain the planet’ also means informing the planet of what is going on in the world, and there is no better partner than the most trusted name in news.”

Viacom Inks Content Distribution Deal with T-Mobile

T-Mobile and Viacom April 3 announced they have entered into a content distribution agreement. Under terms of the deal, Viacom’s brands — MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount — will play a key role in T-Mobile’s pending mobile video services to consumers later this year.

The deal enables T-Mobile to bring together live linear feeds of Viacom channels as well as a broad range of on-demand content to serve the carrier’s nearly 80 million customers.

“TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS,” John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. And ‘Macgyvering’ together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere

For Viacom, the agreement is another strategic effort to expand the media giant’s lagging digital footprint. The company recently acquired ad-supported VOD service Pluto TV.

‘[It] marks a major step forward in our strategy to accelerate the presence of our brands on mobile and other next-generation platforms,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish.

Last year, T-Mobile acquired cable TV disruptor Layer3 TV, and with that team, talent and technology, the company has been readying its first wave of home and mobile TV offerings.

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In recent months, T-Mobile executives have shared some of the company’s plans to launch first with an in-home TV solution, designed to replace cable for the 5G era, and longer term, executives say the company will introduce mobile TV services beginning with Viacom as a cornerstone launch partner.