Premiere Digital, Windfall Films to Launch ‘The Wall — Climb for Gold’ Doc on Jan. 18

Premiere Digital and Windfall Films on Dec. 15 announced the Jan. 18 launch of The Wall — Climb for Gold, a feature-length documentary that follows four elite female climbers on their quest to make the Tokyo Olympics.

The 90-minute film will be available globally for digital rental and purchase through Apple TV, Google Play and Amazon Prime Video, depending on a viewer’s country.

In the United States, the documentary will also be available for transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) viewing on Redbox On Demand, Vudu and DirecTV. Other platforms are expected to join in before the film’s release. Later in the year, The Wall will be  accessible on global streaming platforms.

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The Wall — Climb for Gold follows the four climbers over a two-year period as they battle to make it through the qualifying events to get to Tokyo for the first-ever Olympic climbing competition. Their original plans fall apart as the COVID-19 pandemic results in the Olympics being postponed for a year. 

The four climbers profiled in the documentary are Brooke Raboutou (USA), Janja Garnbret (Slovenia), Miho Nonaka (Japan), and Shauna Coxsey MBE (Great Britain).

Garnbret, 22, was a child phenomenon and holds the most world titles in the sport. The overwhelming favorite for the Olympic title, she is under extraordinary pressure to deliver when it matters most.

Raboutou, 20, is one of the youngest competitors at the Games and must balance training and being a student at the University of California, San Diego. Raboutou’s mother and father are both legends of the sport, winning numerous World Cup titles in the 1990s.

Nonaka, 24, the 2018 Bouldering World Cup champion, is a Tokyo native and must overcome the pressure of representing her country in her home city. 

Coxsey, 28, is one of the most successful British climbers in history, with Bouldering World Cup titles in 2016 and 2017. Coxsey has fought to overcome serious injury and seeks to continue her success with a record-shattering performance at the Olympics. 

The film was directed by Nick Hardie (Formula 1: Drive to Survive), features a score by multi-award-winning composer Nainita Desai (The Reason I Jump, For Sama) and is edited by Emily West. 

The Wall — Climb for Gold was created by Windfall Adventures Ltd., a subsidiary of Windfall Films, part of the Argonon Group. Windfall was supported by Adidas in the making of the film, but it retained complete independence and editorial control throughout. Premiere Digital is handling the global distribution.

Netflix Sponsors NBC’s Tokyo Olympics Medals Count

With Team USA atop of the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics in total medals at the halfway point, Netflix, a perennial leader on most things subscription streaming video, took a marketing stand.

The streamer was a presenting sponsor on NBC’s Aug. 1 primetime TV broadcast of the medals count of the XXXII Olympiad with the U.S. leading with 61 medals, including 21 gold. The leading tally increased to 64 medals, including 22 gold, through Aug. 2.

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Netflix took the opportunity to market the Aug. 6 release of Vivo, an animated movie featuring songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Hamilton and In the Heights. Vivo follows kinkajou (a.k.a. a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos).

The movie, originally slated for theatrical launch in June, is part of a marketing/production agreement between Netflix and Sony Pictures Animation — the latter responsible for Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and this year’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines currently streaming on Netflix.

The partnership precludes Netflix’s recently announced deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) for exclusive first-pay-window licensing in the U.S. for theatrically released Sony feature films, beginning with the studio’s 2022 film slate.

Peacock Bows Olympics Channel

In anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics beginning on July 23, 2021, the Peacock streaming service has created the 24-hour channel Road to Tokyo, dedicated to Olympic and Paralympic classic moments, documentaries and studio programming.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, launched July 15, offers an ad-supported free tier and an ad-supported premium tier for $4.99/month, serving no more than five minutes of advertising per hour. An ad-free version of the premium tier is also available for $9.99/month.

Road to Tokyo will feature a collection of on demand content that includes 10 documentaries produced by NBC Olympics, highlighted by Peacock originals In Deep With Ryan Lochte and Kamome. Additionally, “Olympic Classics” revisits the most inspirational events of recent games, including Simone Biles’ gold-medal winning performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics, gold medal victories from Team USA in men’s basketball by the “Dream Team” at Barcelona in 1992, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant at Beijing 2008, and Carli Lloyd’s two-goal performance to propel women’s soccer to a gold medal at London 2012.

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The channel will also feature three exclusive new specials to prepare fans for the upcoming games. Dreams Live On: Countdown to Tokyo examines the journey of star athletes, such as Simone Biles and Allyson Felix, preparing for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Lighting the Olympic Flame: Iconic Ceremony Moments looks back at past opening ceremonies with interviews with participants such as Michael Phelps and composer John Williams. The Olympics & Paralympics: Inspirational Moments presents moments of courage and sportsmanship from recent past Olympics.

Oscar De La Hoya‘s Golden Boy Promotions Inks Live-Boxing Streaming Deal with Facebook

Olympic Gold medalist Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has signed a partnership with Facebook to bring ad-supported live boxing to the social media giant’s Watch streaming platform.

The first of five live fights on Facebook Watch begin Aug. 11 featuring Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) defending his WBA World Featherweight title against Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles.

Watch is available for free on mobile apps across Apple and Android, on desktop, laptop and smart TV apps.

Launched last August, Watch is projected to generate $565 million in revenue this year, including $200 million on original content spending, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak. The average Facebook user spends 50 minutes daily on the social media platform.

The platform earlier this year inked content deals with Fox News, CNN and Major League Baseball – the latter involving exclusive access to 25 afternoon games.

“This is a game-changing deal for the sport of boxing,” De la Hoya said in a statement. “The reach of Facebook is just incredible, and our sponsorship conversations will truly resonate with brands across all categories.”

The 1992 Gold medalist and world champion in six weight divisions, De la Hoya will be the executive producer on each fight, with Facebook incorporating real-time viewer interaction through its social media platform.

“Through this unique partnership, a global community of sports fans will have access to some of boxing’s most exciting live bouts and be able to interact with the action like never before,” said Devi Mahadevia, North America live sports programming lead at Facebook.

 

NBC Airing First-Ever Live Winter Olympics Virtual Reality Coverage

NBC Jan. 8 announced it would provide more than 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea.

Virtual Reality immerses the viewer into an environment, whether real or imagined, creating either a lifelike experience at a place in the real world or putting a viewer into simulated environments such as in a VR game.

The VR coverage will be available to authenticated users with Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Samsung Gear VR, and both Google Cardboard and Google Daydream, with compatible iOS or Android devices via the NBC Sports VR app.

It marks the first time that VR will be available for a Winter Olympics and that VR programming will be live in the U.S on a wide range of devices and platforms.

“The Olympics have long been an opportunity to showcase emerging media technology,” Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

VR programming will include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, skeleton, figure skating, short track, ski jumping, ice hockey, and big air, among other events.

NBC Olympics will offer VR replays of all events previously livestreamed; one daily 360-degree video of a sport not available in VR the previous day; and packaged highlights from the day before.

“We are enabling a truly immersive experience, where fans get closer to the action than ever before allowing them feel like they are sitting in the stands for a front and center view of history being made,” said James Carwana, VP and GM of Intel Sports Group, which is working with NBC on VR coverage. 

Viewers will be able to customize their experience by switching between multiple vantage points, hear natural sound captured at each camera location to provide a truly immersive experience, and enjoy real-time stats, leaderboards and post-event results.

Viewers will also be able to “fly” through the Olympic world, tour Olympic venues and different areas throughout Korea.

NBC Olympics will also provide content prior to the start of the Games, with behind-the-scenes content captured with Intel True VR technology. VR users will be able to experience a winter sports athlete prepare for the Games; witness the culture, sights and beauty of Korea; and explore the PyeongChang Olympic venues.

Programming will span every day of the Games – with the exception of Feb. 18 – beginning the day of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 9, and concluding with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 25.

NBC Olympics’ first foray into VR was for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Most programming was presented on next-day delay.