Whip Media Hires Former Warner Exec Debbie Neveu

Entertainment software platform and data provider Whip Media has hired Debbie Neveu as VP of global enterprise client success.

In this newly created role, Neveu will further develop and grow the company’s content value management (CVM) platform customer relationships, including focusing on strategy, product adoption, sales assistance, and customer retention and support.

Neveu joins Whip Media with more than two decades of experience leading the accounting and financial reporting teams at some of the biggest companies in entertainment. Prior to joining Whip Media, Neveu served as the VP of accounting, financial reporting, financial systems and financial deal review at Warner Bros., where she spearheaded more than 300 deals and led the expansion of the company’s digital business into more than 130 countries. The areas of emphasis during her 15 years at Warner Bros. included the company’s digital sellthrough, VOD, PVOD, PPV and AVOD businesses. Before joining Warner Bros., Neveu served as the director of global operations at The Walt Disney Company for Disney’s interactive video gaming business.

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“Debbie’s invaluable knowledge of the entertainment industry and proven track record of success makes her an ideal fit for Whip Media,” Saj Jayasinghe, Whip Media’s SVP of global enterprise account management, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have her on board, and I know our media partners will feel the same way, too.”

“As a former client, I’ve spent years partnering with Whip Media and utilizing their CVM platform to automate, scale and streamline internal studio finance, rights and avails,” Neveu said in a statement. “Now that I am part of the Whip family, I look forward to bringing this knowledge to improve the satisfaction and success of our clients while also supporting the sales and product teams to refine and expand customer offerings.”

Virgin TV Partners with U.S. Streaming Service for PPV Boxing, Wrestling

Online TV service Virgin TV March 15 announced a partnership with Fite, a New York-based $4.99 monthly streaming video service delivering sports-themed pay-per-view events via Virgin TiVo, V6 and Virgin TV 360 devices in the UK.

Live SVOD shows include All Elite WrestlingTop Rank Boxing and PBC in addition to the National Wrestling Alliance: Back for the Attack on March 21, featuring champion Nick Aldis.

“As part of our continued expansion in the U.K., we’re delighted to be working with Virgin Media, offering their customers access to our premium live events,” Ben Halabi, SVP of international business development at Fite, said in a statement.

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David Bouchier, chief TV and entertainment officer at Virgin Media, said the deal gives subscribers access to popular pay-per-view events.

“This new deal with Fite will expand our offering with an increased range of events to purchase,” Bouchier said.

Fite streams more than 1,000 events a year from Top Rank, PBC, AEW, NWA, and was the exclusive digital home of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones (U.S.), the biggest PPV event of 2020. The next event includes the April 17 PPV “Triller Fight Club”: Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren.

MMA Fighter Conor McGregor Helps ESPN+ Generate Record 1 Million PPV Streams

Pay-per-view, boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) have been partners practically since the beginning of television. But streaming video is still a new frontier.

During Disney’s quarterly financial results, it was disclosed that Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor helped upstart subscription streaming service ESPN+ generate more than 1 million PPV streams for UFC 246 — a record for a live streaming event that cost $70 to watch over the Internet.

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McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone Jan. 18 in the headline event — in 40 seconds.

Disney said the fight and McGregor contributed to ESPN+ adding 1 million subscribers since the end of the company’s fiscal quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) to 7.6 million subs from 6.6. million. Indeed, 500,000 subs signed up just for the fight.

ESPN+, which launched in April 2018, had just 1.4 million subs in January 2019. The service, which costs $4.99 monthly, is also offered as a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu for $9.99 monthly.

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Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Ready for First-Ever PPV Golf Match

Move over boxing and mixed-martial arts fighting, golf superstars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have upped their trash-talk and respective contributions to charities ahead of the Nov. 23 first-of-its-kind pay-per-view golf match over 18 holes at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner takes home $9 million.

With much of America dealing with the Black Friday retail event, golf fans (largely male) can pay $19.95 to watch the sport’s two biggest names without leaving the couch.

Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil begins at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET. Woods and Mickelson will take to the course at noon PT/3 p.m. ET.

It will be available on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon and Altice (U.S.), Rogers, Shaw and Bell (Canada), Turner International (outside U.S. and Canada).

For Woods, the event is the culmination of 2017-18 season that has seen the sport’s former lone superstar rebound from No. 668 in the world rankings to No. 13 over the course of 18 events – including seven top-10 finishes and his first win in five years — at the Tour Championship in late September.

Mickelson, ranked 27th in the world, scored his first Tour win since 2013 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Both players and their respective caddies will wear microphones, and the broadcast will include real-time, hole-by-hole statistics to forecast certain outcomes during the match.

Being Las Vegas, MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books will offer real-time odds, money-lines and other information about the golfers’ performances.

The players can also make side challenges, such as who’ll be closest to the pin, whether one can make a putt from 10 feet away or the chances of getting up and down from a certain location on the course.

Money from side wagers will be donated to the winning golfer’s chosen charity.

Drone camera coverage will be provided, as will slow-motion cameras, golf animations and both real-time trajectories and flight paths for each shot.

 

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.