Documentary on First AIDS Ward Coming Home in August

Home release dates have been set for 5B, a documentary about the world’s first AIDS ward in 1980s San Francisco and the nurses who put everything on the line to care for patients society had discarded.

The film, which recently had its international premiere at Cannes and U.S. premiere at LA Pride, will be released by Verizon Media via Fios TV on Aug. 20 for an exclusive one-week in-home engagement. The film will subsequently be released on demand beginning Aug. 27.

5B will be available for rent or purchase on over 1,000 platforms including Amazon Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV, Redbox On Demand, Sony Playstation, and VUDU, as well as cable providers AT&T U-Verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Spectrum and Verizon Fios.

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In support of the film​, Jackson Browne and Grammy Award-nominee Leslie Mendelson co-released “A Human Touch” alongside writer Steve McEwan as the title song of ​5B.​ The track’s official music video was recorded using clips from the film to highlight the  connection between the caregivers at Ward 5B and the patients who resided there. The video is now available to view on Jackson Browne’s official ​YouTube page. Browne and Mendelson have been performing the song live during Browne’s summer concert tour, which continues through August.

5B focuses on the caregivers to worked in the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States at San Francisco General Hospital, which opened in 1983.

Presented by RYOT, a Verizon Media company, ​5B ​premiered as an Official Selection of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film returned to Cannes for the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where it took home the Cannes Lions Grand Prix: Entertainment along with an additional gold and two silver Lions.

After its June 2019 limited theatrical release, ​5B has gone on to appear at over 130 festivals and events worldwide and will next appear as an Official Selection of the Deauville American Film Festival in September and the Heartland International Film Festival later this year.

Vubiquity Inks Deal With Verizon

Vubiquity, a provider of content services and media technology solutions, has inked a deal with Verizon to provide the processing and packaging of Verizon’s video on-demand and pay-per-view portfolio across the Fios multiscreen platform.

Vubiquity is owned by Amdocs.

The deal continues to include a content licensing component, which is an extension of the prior relationship, according to an Amdocs press release.

“Verizon remains vigorously focused on making content personal with video that can go anywhere to meet the demands of even the most discerning customers,” said Heather McDavitt, VP of Verizon Fios Consumer Products.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Verizon as they continue to innovate for consumers across the complex and transformative media landscape,” said Darcy Antonellis, head of the Amdocs Media Division, in a statement.

As the bridge to more than 630 content owners, Vubiquity will be supplementing Verizon’s expansive collection of assets across existing and future formats, including but not limited to 4K and high dynamic range, for a variety of business models, including TV on-demand, rental, PPV and electronic sellthrough, according to the release.

“This will allow Verizon’s customers to watch a robust selection of films and TV shows from major blockbusters to smaller independent films, as well as television series and digital assets from more than 100 media brands on any device,” according to the release.

Verizon Loses 22,000 Video Subs in First Quarter

Verizon Communications April 24 announced it lost 22,000 video subscribers in the first quarter, ended March 31. It lost 13,000 video subs in the previous-year period. The telecom said the losses were “indicative” of the continued cord-cutting trend regarding traditional linear pay-TV bundles.

Verizon shed 84,000 Fios TV subs over the past year. It ended the period with 4.59 million subs compared to 4.68 subs last year.

Meanwhile, Verizon added 66,000 high-speed Internet customers in the quarter, ending the period with more than 5.9 million subs. That 228,000 more broadband subs than a year ago.

In Verizon’s media business, Oath, gross revenue decreased about 13% from fourth-quarter 2017, to $1.9 billion, which the telecom attributed to seasonally lower display advertising performance.

In February, Verizon melded its struggling mobile streaming video app, Go90, into Oath, which also includes AOL, HuffPost, Engadget, TechCrunch, Tumblr and Yahoo.

Oath represents Verizon’s mobile-first media strategy targeting global audiences and future growth from premium content distribution and “programmatic advertising” opportunities.

“We began 2018 with strong momentum, and we expect it to continue throughout the year,” CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. “We are positioning Verizon for long-term growth while executing our strategy today and leading the way for the next cycle of growth for the industry.”

Verizon Ups Video Content Rights From A+E Networks

Verizon and A+E Networks announced an expanded distribution partnership of both licensed and original content for the telecom’s pay-TV and Oath platform – the latter including Yahoo and AOL.

In addition to A&E, Lifetime, History and Viceland content for Fios, the deal includes first window rights for content from 45th & Dean – A+E’s digital entity.

Pay-TV and TV Everywhere rights include History’s “Knightfall,” which premiered Dec. 6; as well as “Vikings,” currently in its fifth season.

Other programs include Emmy-winning “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” and “Live PD;” Lifetime’s National Women’s Soccer League games and fashion competition series, “Project Runway;” in addition to Viceland’s “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia” and “Desus & Mero.”

Verizon’s mobile and digital footprint, which ranks No.1 in monthly U.S. millennial reach and No.2 in total monthly U.S. digital audience, will expand access to A+E’s digital content and create new mobile options for viewers across its family of media brands, including content geared toward women and other specific audience segments.

“This partnership expansion is yet another example of how we’re fueling our new Oath media brands,” Brian Angiolet, SVP, global chief media and content officer at Verizon, said in a statement.

Original mobile and digital content provided by 45th & Dean features short and medium-form content, including Frankenstein-themed sci-fi drama “Second Chance,” which reached over 80 million views in its first season, and unscripted pranks show, “Bae or Bail,” whose first episode has garnered over 40 million views to date.