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.

Tubi to Launch in Mexico With TV Azteca

Ad-supported VOD service Tubi Jan. 21 announced it will expand its service into Mexico later this year in collaboration with TV Azteca, one of the largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world. As part of the deal, TV Azteca will offer advertising sales for Tubi in Mexico and promote the service to its audience via online and other platforms.

In addition, some of TV Azteca’s titles will be made available to Tubi viewers in Mexico, including “Exatlón Mexico,” “MasterChef,” and “Lo que La Gente Cuente,” among others.

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Separately, Tubi is partnering with Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense  and its Vidaa platform to be the exclusive connected TV partner in Mexico. As part of its partnership, Tubi will be pre-loaded and placed on the Vidaa TV homepage with content also listed in the “Vidaa Free” section of the platform — as well as their dedicated “free content” button found on their remotes. Tubi will also be supported in-store with retail promotion this year.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with a world-class partner and, together with TV Azteca, launch a new free streaming home to some of Mexico’s most celebrated television franchises,” Tubi CEO Farhad Massoudi said in a statement. “Our expansion into Latin America is just beginning and we look forward to announcing additional territories in the future.”

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“As part of TV Azteca’s transformation towards the future, we are looking forward to enhancing our distribution and make the best television productions available to a broader audience via Tubi,” said Alberto Ciurana, chief content & distribution officer for TV Azteca.

“Providing users with access to the best free content locally in every market and from all over the world is one of the key goals of our platform, and Tubi is a great partner for this,” said Guy Edri, EVP of business development for Hisense’s Vidaa platform.

In September 2019, Tubi announced viewers streamed more than 132 million hours of content — a 40% increase since May — and the service will launch in the U.K. in 2020. In addition to Hisense televisions, Tubi is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, and on OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Consumers can also watch Tubi content on the Web at www.tubi.tv.

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.

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“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.

 

Amazon Prime Video Secures Distribution With Altice European Subsidiaries

Amazon (and Amazon Prime Video) may be available in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy via the Internet. Now, the No. 2 SVOD service behind Netflix has secured direct access deals with pay-TV operator Altice Europe.

The Dutch-based owner of New York-based Cablevision, inked a deal with Prime Video to make the latter’s content directly available via set-top boxes of SFR in France and Altice units in Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic, among others.

SFR will be the first of Altice operations and the first operator in France to have the Prime Video app within its LaBox SFR Fibre, SFR Box Plus and SFR Box 8 set-top boxes.

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Subs will have access to Amazon Originals “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Good Omens,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “The Grand Tour,” “The Boys,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “American Gods” and the highly-anticipated “Carnival Row,” an American neo-noir fantasy Web television series with Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne launching this fall.

SFR customers will also have access to local Originals like Jérôme Commandeur: Tout en douceur and Raphael Varane: Destin de Champion, and popular French and Hollywood movies.

A large selection of titles on Prime Video are available in Ultra High Definition (UHD) and HDR.

The deal furthers Altice’s strategy combining third-party over-the-top online video apps and services with its own content and TV functionality in an integrated experience. The launch will commence after the arrival of Amazon Alexa within SFR Box 8.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Amazon to deliver its highly-popular content, including Amazon Originals and Exclusives, directly to our consumers,”Alain Weill, Altice Europe CEO, Altice France Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We know our customers want to see their favorite shows and programming on their big screen at home, and our collaboration with streaming services like Amazon continues to make that happen.”

Indeed, earlier this month, Mexico’s Totalplay became the first SVOD service in Latin America to offer direct access to Prime Video.

Amazon is also bowing its first original series in Australia with “LOL: Last One Laughing,” starring Rebel Wilson.

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.

 

Roku Resumes Selling Streaming Media Devices in Mexico

Roku Oct. 16 announced it would resume sales of streaming media devices in Mexico. This follows a favorable ruling from the 11th Collegiate Court in Mexico City.

“Today’s decision is an important victory for Roku and its Mexican distributor, Latamel Distribuidora, and Mexican retailers in the legal battle against an improper ban on sales of its popular streaming players in Mexico,” Stephen Kay, general counsel at Roku, said in a statement. “We are pleased with the Collegiate Court’s decision and look forward to continuing to build Roku’s TV streaming business in Mexico.”

Roku had been banned for sale in Mexico since the summer of 2017.

At issue were allegations by Cablevision claiming third-party hackers had created apps on Roku to pirate their content. The Fourteenth District Judge in Civil Matters in Mexico City agreed last summer, invoking a country-wide ban that Roku twice failed to overturn on appeal.

Roku CMO Matthew Anderson said customers in Mexico, despite the sales ban, continued to stream increased hours of video content.

“We look forward to launching the latest Roku devices in Mexico soon and giving customers an even richer streaming experience,” said Anderson

Netflix Launching First Mexican Reality TV Series

Netflix may not be interested in sports programming, but reality TV is fair game for the SVOD pioneer.

The world’s largest subscription streaming service announced that its first-ever Mexican reality series, “Made in Mexico,” featuring Mexico City’s wealthy socialites and their opulent lifestyles, is set to debut globally on Sept. 28.

Netflix launched service in Mexico in 2011, and currently has more than 6 million subs in the country – with household penetration above 70%. Netflix is projected to generate approximately $295 million with its Mexican streaming segment in 2020.

Made in Mexico follows the lives of nine well-to-do socialites in Spanish (with English subtitles), revealing the flawed lives of the seemingly perfect elite. They are passionate, unapologetically real, fashionable and sophisticated, and know how to set trends in one of the world’s most culturally vibrant cities, where family name is your bond and legacy is everything.

Cast members include Pepe Díaz, a 35-year-old successful businessman and nightclub impresario who wants to shed his playboy past and settle down into a new life.

Kitzia Mitre, born and raised into Mexico’s high society, is a fashion designer who splits her time between the city and her family’s sprawling ranch. When she’s not chasing after her toddler son, Kitzia sits atop her social circle, keeping a tight rein on who gains access while acting as the de facto arbiter of taste and style.

Carlos Girón Longoria is at the center of his social scene and is the connector between everyone in the “Made in Mexico” cast. Estranged from his father, Carlos keeps his focus on his fast-paced life as a TV host, actor and model when he is not refereeing the drama of his high-society friends.

Liz Woodburn is a cultured, well-traveled American food blogger who is recently engaged and finds that she must re-climb the social ladder as she adjusts to her new home after leaving New York City to live with her fiancé.

Columba Díaz is a high-fashion model who is the life of the party. The highly sought after bachelorette discovers herself in the middle of a love triangle, but wants nothing more than to focus on her career and philanthropy work.

Chantal Trujillo is an American expat who left a job at Vogue to follow the love of her life to Mexico. In short time, Chantal has made a name for herself as a lifestyle blogger running in Mexico City’s it-crowd. But the young fashionista must decide whether she made the right move coming to the city and if the prospect of a marriage proposal is really in her future.

Shanik Aspe is a TV personality and former swimsuit model who has dreams of being a pop star. While she enjoys the lavish life of TV celebrity, she has to figure out if she wants to give it all up for one last chance to become a singer or settle down to raise a family.

Roby Checa is a brother-in-law to Kitzia and the bad boy of the Checa clan. He is loud, proud and the ultimate showman who is always ready to entertain. The 31-year-old is balancing his desire to party with a need to find success in his business partnerships and prove to his family that he can make it on his own.

Hanna Jaff is 30-year-old politician and philanthropist who runs the Jaff Foundation. Hanna passionately pursues causes that are important to her, but sometimes finds her ambition leads to friction within her social circles.

 

 

 

Netflix Partners with Salma Hayek’s Production Company on Mexican Series

Netflix’s latest original series from Mexico will be produced by Salma Hayek’s company Ventanarosa, Lemon Studios and Stearns Castle.

The series, “Monarca,” will begin production this fall and will launch globally in 2019. It stars Irene Azuela and Juan Manuel Bernal and will follow the world of wealthy Mexican elites riddled by corruption, scandal and violence.

“I’m extremely excited to partner with Netflix, and to be working with amazing Mexican talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Hayek in a statement. “We are proud to show Mexico as a vibrant, sophisticated and culturally rich nation, fighting to control its own destiny.”

“Mexico is a top priority for us in which to continue to develop series, and we look forward to bringing the best originals to the world through partnerships with key players such as Ventanarosa and Lemon Studios,” said Netflix’s Erik Barmack in a statement.

Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions has produced such films and TV shows as Frida, which earned Hayek an Academy Award nomination, and “Ugly Betty.”

Mexico vs. Sweden World Cup Soccer Generates Telemundo’s Highest Non-Super Bowl Digital Audience

With the United States and Canada not playing in the ongoing 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia, Mexico represents North America’s biggest draw.

The El Tri didn’t disappoint (except for losing 3-0), with the June 27 streaming presentation Mexico vs. Sweden in group play generating a record 1 million concurrent live streams on digital devices across TelemundoDeportes.com, the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app, and the NBC Sports app.

Despite the loss, Mexico (and Sweden) advances to the elimination round following defending champion Germany’s 2-0 loss to South Korea.

The digital tally was the most for any event in NBC Sports Digital history, excluding Super Bowls, and the only event other than the Super Bowl to hit the 1 million mark.

Fox Sports has exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to Russia 2018. Telemundo is owned by Comcast, which is attempting to acquire 20thCentury Fox Film.

In addition, the 1.02 million concurrent livestreams topped by 53% the prior non-Super Bowl mark – 665,000 for the Mexico-South Korea match on June 23.

On June 26, the World Cup reached 3.2 million unique digital users and generated 106 million minutes viewed. To date, the quadrennial tournament has reached 9.3 million total unique users and generated 89.1 million livestreams and 1.35 billion total minutes viewed, averaging 2.0 million livestreams per match.

Notably, Argentina’s last-minute win over Nigeria, which advanced the Lionel Messi-led squad to the second round, delivered an average of 2.85 million streaming viewers – ranking as Telemundo Deportes’ most-watched weekday match through June 26.

Telemundo delivered its best-ever June 26 daytime (7 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), averaging 1.58 million digital viewers for its World Cup coverage – topping the prior record set June 20 by 41% (1.12 million).

 

Acorn TV Streaming in Mexico — via Banned Roku Devices?

NEWS ANALYSIS — Acorn TV, RLJ Entertainment’s streaming service for British and international television content, June 5 announced its availability in Mexico.

Consumers can subscribe to the service via the Roku streaming player or Roku TV. Content will be in English with Spanish subtitles. The streaming service is available for MXN $89 per month.

“Launching [in Mexico] with … Roku reflects our priority of accelerating the expansion of our distribution footprint,” Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, said in a statement.

Except that Roku players have been banned for sale in Mexico since the summer of 2017.

At issue are allegations by Cablevision claiming third-party hackers have created apps on Roku to pirate their content. The Fourteenth District Judge in Civil Matters in Mexico City agreed last summer, invoking a country-wide ban that Roku has twice failed to overturn on appeal — most-recently in March.

Mario Antonio Gonzalez Martinez, a lawyer representing Roku, claims the ban unfairly targets the streaming media device pioneer while doing little to curb piracy.

“This blocking will directly affect Mexican consumers who want to buy a Roku device to see great content, legal, on their television, at affordable prices,” Gonzalez Martinez said in a statement to CordCutterNews.com.

“It is necessary for Roku to make adjustments to its software, as other online content distribution platforms do, so that violations of copyrighted content do not take place,” Cablevision said in a statement.

Roku said it eliminates apps suspected of pirating content. Walmart, Best Buy and Office Depot have joined Roku in lobby efforts to overturn the ban. Roku, together with Netflix, helped create the SVOD business model with a branded Netflix device in 2008.

“Roku is not the cause, nor the source of piracy that is carried out by third parties illegally in Mexico,” said Gonzalez Martinez.