Europa+ SVOD Service Launches in Latin America

A new subscription streaming video service based in Atlanta has launched operations in Latin America. Dubbed Europa+ (Europa Más), the $5.99 monthly service features content from the U.K., Germany, France and Nordics.

Designed for European ex-pats, Latin Americans of European descent and the large community of those passionate about European culture throughout the region, Europa+ offers viewers a variety of the latest European TV shows to link them to their roots, culture and tastes.

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The service draws a curated list of programs from from more than 1,500 hours of library content from BBC Studios, Studio Canal, TF1, ZDF, NordicWorld, Studio 100, Spiegel and Mediaset. Programs are presented ad-free, in high-definition and their original language — all with subtitles and the majority sub-titled in Spanish and English. It is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices and all shows are available for download for later viewing on portable devices.

Europa+ is owned and operated by Mexico City-based investment fund, Innokap, and Atlanta-based Castalia Communications Corp.

“For nearly 30 years, Castalia Communications has forged a track record of successfully launching new media ventures worldwide,” Luis Torres-Bohl, president of Europa+ and co-owner of Castalia Communications, said in a statement. “Our mission has always been to enable the many and different voices of our world the opportunity to be heard.”

“We provide programming that makes Europeans living and working in Latin America and the Caribbean feel more connected to home,” said Rubén Mendiola, COO and managing director of Europa+. “Subscribers will have the newest European dramas, comedies, documentaries, reality, nature, motor shows, kids’ toons and more at their fingertips.”

Pluto TV Lands on Roku Platform in Latin America

ViacomCBS’s ad-supported VOD platform Pluto TV has inked a distribution deal with Roku for the streaming video device manufacturer’s platform in Latin America.

The agreement is aimed at expanding access to Pluto TV’s planned 70 channels featuring curated Spanish-language content in 17 Latin American countries. Pluto TV, which ViacomCBS acquired in 2019 for $340 million, has more than 33 million users internationally (including the U.S., Europe and Latin America).

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The deal sees Pluto TV available on The Roku Channel Store in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.

“The arrival of Pluto TV to Roku … will allow our users to have an excellent experience of streaming content on a bigger screen, easily, comfortably and without restrictions,” Marco Nobili, SVP of emerging business and strategy at Pluto TV, said in a statement. “We believe Pluto TV is a great complement to all of our distribution partners who can offer free fan-favorite content to their subscribers and users on the same platform that they consume content.”

Yulia Poltorak, director of international content distribution at Roku, said the deal expands upon The Roku Channel’s ad-supported free content outside the U.S., which includes content from film studios, TV channels and production companies from around the world.

“Now more than ever, our users are asking for [more] free content,” Poltorak said.

Analyst: Latin America to Reach 100 Million SVOD Subs by 2025 — Driven by U.S. Platforms

Latin America is projected to go all-in for subscription streaming video-on-demand, topping 100 million subscribers by 2025 — more than double the current 42.1 million subs at the end of 2019, according to new data from Digital TV Research. Sub growth will be driven by market leader Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Brazil, Netflix’s first foray into Latin America in 2011, will remain the market leader, with 36 million subs projected by 2025 — up from 16 million at the end of 2019. Mexico will reach 28 million subs by 2025, compared with 12 million last year.

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Netflix will continue to grow, but its dominance will decline. The SVOD behemoth will top 47.4 million subs; up from 31.4 million in 2019. Disney+ will grow rapidly following its November 2020 launch, with 25 million subs by 2025.

“Latin America will enjoy a wave of U.S.-based platform launches over the next year,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “Hulu, HBO Max and ViacomCBS are all expected to start platforms in 2021. These launches come despite poor economic conditions driven by COVID-19.”

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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.