Funimation Streaming Service Coming to Latin America

Anime content provider Funimation is expanding its streaming service to Latin America this fall.

Currently available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the service will expand to Mexico and Brazil later this year.

Funimation also announced it would offer select subtitled and dubbed anime series in Spanish and Portuguese. The announcement was made during FunimationCon 2020, a free two-day virtual fan festival celebrating anime.

“Anime is special in that it speaks equally to people from different cultures, regions and languages around the world,” said Colin Decker, CEO of Funimation global group. “Audiences in Latin America are among the most passionate in the world and have been clamoring for more. Expanding Funimation to Mexico and Brazil is the natural next step for us to serve those fans and extend our brands.”

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Funimation is an independently operated joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan). Its streaming services offer a catalog of more than 700 anime series and 13,000-plus hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 47 countries, according to the company.

WarnerMedia Solidifies HBO Ownership in Latin America Ahead of Max Launch

With the launch of subscription streaming video platform HBO Max just weeks away, WarnerMedia has finalized its acquisition of Ole Communications’ minority stakes in both HBO Ole Partners and HBO Brasil Partners, the joint ventures between WarnerMedia and Ole Communications, and now owns 100% of all HBO, Cinemax and HBO Go services in Spanish-speaking Latin America and Caribbean, as well as in Brazil.

HBO services in Latin America, which will aggressively promote HBO Max, will now fall under the purview of Gerhard Zeiler, president, WarnerMedia International Networks.

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“We are pleased to complete this strategic acquisition, which will allow us to fully realize the potential of a combined WarnerMedia in Latin America, creating more value for fans, business partners and content creators,” Zeiler said in a statement. “First and foremost, with this acquisition, we plan to launch localized versions of our upcoming U.S. streaming service HBO Max to consumers throughout the region.”

WarnerMedia and Ole Communications brought HBO programming to the region for the first time in 1991 when they founded the HBO Ole Partners joint venture and launched a Spanish-language HBO-branded premium channel that same year. In 1994, a Portuguese-language service was launched in Brazil.

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Separately from this acquisition, WarnerMedia and Ole Communications will continue their basic TV channel distribution business in Latin America.

Pluto TV Bows in Latin America

ViacomCBS-owned AVOD service Pluto TV has launched in Latin America.

The service is available via web browser at www.pluto.tv, Apple TV, Android TV and mobile device apps for download in iOS and Android in 17 Latin American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“As Pluto TV expands rapidly around the world, I am thrilled to announce that Pluto TV is now available to the consumers in Latin America, one of the world’s most important and biggest markets,” J.C. Acosta, president, ViacomCBS Networks Americas, said in a statement. “This innovative product offering is a great complement to our OTT products. It allows us to continue to entertain audiences across the region and work with our partners to bring this never before seen offering of free streaming television to Latin American audiences.”

“We launched Pluto TV six years ago with a mission to entertain the planet and a vision to become the global leader in free streaming television. Now, we are the leading free streaming TV platform in America and growing rapidly in Europe,” Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, said in a statement. “Today marks a major step forward in our mission, and we are thrilled to offer people across Latin America, one of the world’s largest markets, access to our popular streaming TV service.”

Pluto TV Latin America has 24 curated channels and will continue to add new channels on a monthly basis for the next 12 months to reach more than 70 channels of streaming entertainment programming in Spanish, according to the ViacomCBS release. Pluto TV Latin America has already entered into partnerships with more than 60 major media and content providers, building a library of 12,000 hours of content, which the new service for Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America will offer, according to the release. Programming tailored to Latin America includes television series and movies across genres including reality, anime, lifestyle, reality competitions, nature, true crime and kids’ content.

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New content partners have been added to ones previously announced. These include A2 Filmes, All3Media, Alliant, BBC Studios, Beverly Hills Entertainment, Big Media, Blue Ant Media, Caracol, Castalia, CDC International, Cineflix, Cisneros Media, Comarex, Combate Americas, DRG, Endemol Shine, FilmRise, FourK, Fremantle, Glory Sports, Gusto Distribution, Hard Knocks Fighting, Hearst, Indigenius, Impact Wrestling, Inverleigh, Kinpil, Latin Angels, Leda Films, Legendary Entertainment, Life Design, Lionsgate, Marvista, Motion Pictures, MPI Media, MTV, Nelvana, New Dominion, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Off The Fence, OTRO, Paramount, Polar Star, Pongalo, Sabbatical Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn, Sofa Digital, Sonar Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Spanglish Movies, Syndicado, Telefe, Televix, The Asylum, TV Azteca, VIP 2000, Viz Media, Wildbrain and World Poker Tour.

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Pluto TV also added a “Quedate en casa #JuntosADistancia” in its On-Demand section for stay-at-home customers.

Pluto TV Secures 55 Content Partnerships Ahead of Latin America Launch

Pluto TV, the ViacomCBS-owned ad-supported VOD platform, said it has secured 55 content partnerships ahead of its launch in Latin America at the end of the month. The platform is slated to launch in 17 Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Brazil.

Pluto TV, which ViacomCBS acquired in 2019 for $340 million, has partnered with A2 Films, All3Media, BBC Studios, Big Media, Blue Ant Media, Castalia, CDC International, Cineflix, Cisneros Media, Combate Americas, DRG, Endemol Shine, FilmRise, Fremantle, Glory Sports, Hard Knocks Fighting, Hearst, Impact Wrestling, Inverleigh, Kinpil, Latin Angels, Leda Films, Legendary Entertainment, Life Design, Lionsgate, Marvista, MPI Media, MTV, Nelvana, New Dominion, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Off The Fence, Otro.com, Paramount, Polar Star, Pongalo, Sabbatical Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn, Sonar Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Spanglish Movies, Telefe, Televix, The Asylum, TV Azteca, VIP 2000, Viz Media, Wildbrain and World Poker Tour.

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The platform will have 24 live, linear channels curated thematically into categories including movies, entertainment, curiosity, lifestyle and kids. Viewers can also stream movies from the Star Trek franchise as well as The Big Wedding, Chef, Blue Valentine, Snowpiercer, The Immigrant and The Lincoln Lawyer.

TV series include “Broadchurch,” “The Honourable Woman,” “Steven Spielberg Presents Taken,” “Montecristo,” “Daria and Naruto,” reality shows, sports and children’s programming. Non-scripted content includes “MasterChef,” “Food, Booze, & Tattoos,” and “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” among others.

“We look forward to working with them, bringing new partners on board, and offering our audiences diverse and engaging content,” Eduardo Arias, senior director of content partnerships, said in a statement.

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Amazon Greenlights Four New Local Latin-American Originals

Amazon has greenlighted four new local original series from Argentina, Chile and Colombia, marking the first-ever locally produced Amazon Originals to launch in these countries that will also be available exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The four scripted series announced consist of Argentinean original “Iosi, El Espía Arrepentido (“Iosi, The Repentant Spy”), a spy thriller; the Chilean originals “La Jauría” (“The Pack”), a mystery thriller, and “Colonia Dignidad” (“Dignity Colony”), a docuseries exploring the hidden truths behind one of Chile’s most dangerous cults; and the Colombian original series “Noticia de un Secuestro” (“News of a Kidnapping”), a suspenseful drama based on the non-fiction book by Gabriel García Márquez.

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“We know our Prime Video audiences across Latin America are eager for local shows from the best local voices, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce these first local series for Argentina, Chile and Colombia that already have some of the most locally renowned directors and talent attached,” said James Farrell, head of international Amazon Originals, Amazon Studios, in a statement. “And in addition to delighting local audiences, we’re thrilled to be able to bring the work of these talented local writers, directors, producers and actors behind each series to an international audience of more than 100 million Prime members worldwide.”

WarnerMedia Assumes Full Control of HBO Brand in Latin America

Ahead of its HBO Max unveiling on Oct. 29, WarnerMedia has reached an agreement to buy Ole Communications’ minority stake in HBO Ole Partners, the joint venture between WarnerMedia and Ole Communications.

When the transaction closes, WarnerMedia will own 100% of all HBO, Cinemax and HBO Go services in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean.

The agreement does not include HBO Brasil Partners, another joint venture between the companies that operates HBO in Brazil. WarnerMedia and Ole Communications will continue their basic channel distribution business in Latin America.

Subscription streaming video platform HBO Max is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2020.

The transaction is expected to be completed following the granting of relevant regulatory approvals. Upon completion, HBO Ole Partners will fall under the purview of Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer, WarnerMedia, and president, WarnerMedia International Networks.

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“The [HBO Ole Partners] acquisition will allow us to bring localized versions of our upcoming U.S. streaming service to consumers in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean,” Zeiler said in a statement.

Th executive said WarnerMedia chose not to include Brazil operations in the deal due to “existing regulatory uncertainty” in the country.

“We support and remain optimistic about the ongoing efforts to amend the SeAC law to ensure the media industry has a clear and predictable regulatory framework that fosters investment and innovation,” Zeiler said.

WarnerMedia and Ole Communications brought HBO programming services to the region for the first time when they founded the HBO Ole Partners joint venture in 1991 and launched a Spanish-language HBO-branded premium channel that same year. In 1994, a Portuguese-language service was launched in Brazil.

Disney Licensing Movies, TV Shows to Amazon Prime Video in Latin America

Disney is set to release a branded subscription streaming video service on Nov. 12 featuring branded movies, TV shows and original content.

In the interim, Disney is reportedly licensing select movies and TV shows to Amazon Prime Video in Latin America, beginning Oct. 1, according to Variety, which first reported the deal.

Prime Video is available in Mexico and Brazil with e-commerce, while operating as a standalone service elsewhere in South America.

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The agreement, through September 2020, includes theatrical and home entertainment hits Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Other movies include The Lion King, Mary Poppins Returns, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent, pending sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

In addition, Prime Video is licensing ABC and FX series “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Walking Dead,” “American Horror Story” and “How I Met Your Mother,” among others.

 

OVID.tv Adds Six Latin American Documentaries

Indie film streaming service OVID.tv has added six Latin American documentaries to its lineup.

The films include:

Elena, in which a young Brazilian woman travels to New York with the same dream as her mother, to become a movie actress. She leaves behind her childhood, which was spent hiding during the years of the military dictatorship.

The Other Side of The Wall, about two siblings who have to believe in each other to find hope on the other side of the wall that threatens to separate them.

Beyond My Grandfather Allende, in which Salvador Allende’s granddaughter explores his legacy 40 years after he was ousted by a military coup in Chile.

The Tiniest Place, about resilient residents of a small mountain village in El Salvador rebuilding their homes in the wake of their country’s bloody civil war.

10th Parallel, which ventures into the Amazon and into close proximity with the rainforest’s uncontacted populations to reveal the fascinating and complex issues at stake in the National Indian Foundation of Brazil’s policy on isolated tribes.

El Velador: The Night Watchman, about a man named Martin who watches over El Jardin, a large cemetery used by Mexico’s most notorious drug lords.

OVID.tv is currently available on Apple TV, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Android devices. Customers in the U.S. can subscribe to OVID for $6.99 per month, or $69.99 annually, with an introductory seven-day trail. Service in Canada is slated to begin in fall 2019.

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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.”

Report: Netflix Driving Latin America SVOD Growth

On July 11, 2011 Netflix announced plans to expand service into South America spearheaded by Brazil. The SVOD pioneer at the time had 23 million subscribers in the United States and Canada – the latter Netflix’s first foreign expansion.

Leapfrog to the present and Latin America is forecast to reach more than 51 million SVOD subs by 2024 – about double the 27.1 million recorded at the end of 2018, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

The top six regional platforms – driven by Netflix – will account for 85% of the region’s paying SVOD subscribers by end-2024.

Netflix is projected to reach 26.3 million paying subscribers in 2024 – or about 50% of the region’s total – but down from 66% market share at the end of last year.

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Simon Murray, principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said Netflix’s declining market share in Latin America is due to the rise in ad-supported VOD and subsidized SVOD platforms in the region.

“Several mobile and pay TV operators provide free and limited SVOD platforms to their top paying subscribers. This stifles pay SVOD take-up,” Murray said in a statement.

SVOD subscription revenue will drive overall over-the-top video revenue across 19 countries with $6 billion of the projected $8.25 billion in revenue through 2024. The latter up 147% from revenue of $3.33 billion in 2018.

Brazil will remain the SVOD revenue leader by 2024 – supplying 40% of the regional total. Mexico will provide another 24%. Combined, Brazil and Mexico will account for 66% of the region’s SVOD revenue by 2024.