AMC Networks International Rebrands U.K. Channels, Streaming Services

AMC Networks International U.K. is rebranding its portfolio of local channels and streaming services owned by the CBS AMC Networks U.K. Channels Partnership, a joint venture with Paramount Global. The rebrand will be rolled out on Nov. 22. 

CBS Reality, which reportedly has been one of the U.K.’s top entertainment channels among adult women since 2016, will be renamed to True Crime, and the streaming brand will change to True Crime U.K.

Sam Rowden

The latter is an ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service with more than 250 hours of content. The FAST channel is available through multiple platforms, including Amazon Freevee, Rakuten TV and Samsung TV +, with more platforms rolling out shortly.  

Entertainment channel Legend, which features action, sci-fi, adventure and western series and movies, which was renamed from Horror Channel in 2022, will become Watch Free U.K. Other channels in the portfolio to rebrand include Legend XTRA and True Crime XTRA, and time-shift versions Legend XTRA +1 and TRUE CRIME +1. 

Sam Rowden, VP of the content group, said the rebrand closely aligns with management’s aim to provide carefully curated services catering to both existing and new audiences. 

“We wanted to elevate our U.K. portfolio to be more easily recognizable and accessible, and to clearly reflect our content offering,” Rowden said in a statement. 

Current original content includes “Evidence of Evil,” “Murder by the Sea,” “Killers: Caught on Camera,” “Donal Macintyre’s Killer Evidence,” “The Truth About My Murder” and exclusive third-party content, including “Medical Detectives.”

Upcoming content on Legend includes the series “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “Walker, Texas Ranger” and the action movie titles Hard Target and Barb Wire and the thriller Sneakers alongside Jet Pilot and Angel and the Bad Man, starring John Wayne, from the Westerns collection. 

Disney+ Launches Ad-Supported Subscription Option in the U.K.

Disney+ Nov. 1 formally launched an ad-supported option in the U.K., priced at £4.99 per month ($6.06), in addition to rolling out two ad-free tiers priced at  £7.99 ($9.70) and £10.99 ($13.34), respectively.

The rollout comes about 11 months after Disney+ bow its inaugural ad-supported option in the U.S. — a month after Netflix’s hasty ad-supported option’s debut. Ad-supported tiers are now the new normal among all subscription streaming services not named Apple TV+, which remains ad-free at $9.99.

“Today’s launch represents a significant milestone for Disney+ in the U.K., offering customers the flexibility to select a plan that suits their needs and budget,” Luke Bradley Jones, GM of Disney+ EMEA, said in a statement.

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TiVo: U.K. Consumer Spending on Video Streaming Services Resilient Despite Escalating Cost

Almost half of all U.K. consumers have not reduced their video spending as a result of increases in the cost of living. On average, consumers subscribe to six paid video content sources, with an average monthly bill of £78.06 ($97.48), according to new data from TiVo, which released the intel at IBC 2023.

While having access to multiple content sources, the inaugural TiVo Video Trends Report: U.K. found consumers were experiencing considerable frustration with discovering new and interesting video content, with only one in 10 (11%) strongly liking recommendations they receive from any source.

Of the respondents who pay for video content, 81% have a subscription to a SVOD services such as Netflix and 57% subscribe to pay-TV services (e.g., Sky, Virgin Media), but there is a considerable churn risk for both. Two in five (21%) respondents said they stopped their SVOD subscription within the last six months.

The report also revealed that the world of ad-supported (AVOD), free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST), such as Pluto TV, Tubi, The Roku Channel and Freevee, is still in early stages of its path forward, with only 42% of U.K. consumers watching AVOD or FAST channels. Further uptake looks promising, however, as 76% of U.K. consumers said they are ad-tolerant if it means not paying for content.

“It’s clear that U.K. consumers are willing to both pay for content and watch ads to access the entertainment they want, but they have considerable frustration with discovering new and interesting video content in this ever-saturated market,” Gabriel Cosgrave, GM of EMEA at Xperi, said in a statement.

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The TiVo report also found that U.K. consumers prefer to binge: more than half (52%) prefer a whole season of a TV show to be available at once so they can binge it, compared to 21% who prefer episodes to be released one per week

The majority (81%) watch social video (e.g., YouTube, TikTok), with 26% watching it on a TV several times a week. Nearly three-quarters (74%) own a smart TV and 15% plan to make a purchase in the next six months (58% replacing a TV and 42% to add to another room or location)

The top reasons for not using voice control are not being comfortable talking into a device (32%); not recognizing what they said (28%); and it’s faster to browse the menus (23%).

“It’s time for TV manufacturers to invest in creating personalized content experiences across devices that provide dynamic, highly relevant recommendations based on preferences and behaviors to give stand-out experiences and minimize churn,” Cosgrave said in a statement.

‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Remains Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Weekly Sales Chart Through Sept. 13

Disney’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny remained the best-selling home entertainment title in the United Kingdom for a second week, according to new data from the Official Film Chart through Sept. 13. Dial of Destiny kept Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fast X in the No. 2 spot due to higher digital sales.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s sequel The Meg 2: The Trench, entered the chart at No. 3, also due to digital download sales.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Elemental dropped two spots to No. 4, and Paramount Home Entertainment’s Transformers: The Rise of the Beasts moved down one spot to No. 5. Jennifer Lawrence’s summer comedy No Hard Feelings (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) dropped to No. 6, just ahead of the studio’s animated adventure Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at No. 7, and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie at No. 8.

Rounding out the top 10 were Lionsgate U.K.’s World War 2 drama Sisu, up four spots to a new peak at No. 9 following its release on disc, and Sony’s The Equalizer 2, which moved back into the top 10 for the first time since January 2019 following the theatrical release of The Equalizer 3.

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The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Sept. 13, 2023

Last Week Position Movie Distributor
1 1 INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY WALT DISNEY
6 2 FAST X UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
NEW 3 MEG 2: THE TRENCH WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY HOME ENTERTAINMENT
2 4 ELEMENTAL DISNEY/PIXAR
4 5 TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
3 6 NO HARD FEELINGS SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
5 7 SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE SONY
7 8 THE SUPER MARIOS BROS. MOVIE UNIVERSAL
13 9 SISU LIONSGATE U.K.
12 10 THE EQUALIZER 2 SONY

© Official Charts Company 2023

U.S. Studios, Streamers Top 2023 BASE Awards Nominations

Netflix, Paramount Home Entertainment, Disney+, Warner Bros. Discovery, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Lionsgate U.K., HBO, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are among the top nominees for the upcoming 43rd BASE Awards, honoring the best in U.K. home entertainment, including retail, distribution and creative
agencies.

Several new awards have been added, including “Best in Class — Bonus Features,” “Commercial Initiative of the Year” and “Social Impact.” Awards returning for the second year include “Best in Class — Social/PR” and “Campaign of the Year for Independent Film” in partnership with BIFA.

“As audiences embrace the ever-growing choice of channels and services through which they can enjoy the home entertainment experience, whether through a subscription or ad- funded service, a FAST channel or our long-championed transactional formats, so do the BASE Awards,” CEO Liz Bales, said in a statement. “It is fantastic to see all aspects of the industry represented in the 2023 BASE shortlist. We’re excited to welcome partners and colleagues, new and existing, to this unique industry celebration.”

The winners will be announced at ceremony Nov. 2 at the Camden Roundhouse in London.

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Select award nominations include:

Audience Engagement Initiative of the Year

Amazon X-Ray: Amazon Prime Video
Thirteen Lives: Dream Audience: Prime Video
Wednesday: Netflix
The World of Batman: Warner Bros. Discovery/Apple TV

BASE Fan’s Choice Award

Andor: Disney+
Happy Valley – Season 3 Finale: BBC Studios
Everything Everywhere All At Once: A24
Stranger Things Season 4: Netflix
Succession – Season 4: HBO/Warner Bros. Discovery
The Last of Us – Episode 3: HBO/Warner Bros. Discovery
Top Gun: Maverick – Maverick: Paramount Home Entertainment                    The White Lotus – Season 2 Finale: HBO/Warner Bros. Discovery

Best in Class – Bonus Features

Creating Empire of Light: The Walt Disney Company
Doctor Who The Collection: Season 22: BBC Studios, Spirit Entertainment
Get Carter: BFI
Great Expectations – Inside Looks: Once Upon A Time, FX, BBC Studios
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story – Inside the Costumes: Netflix
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical – Sing Your Heart Out!: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
See How They Run – Behind the Curtain: The Walt Disney Company
The Queen of Spades: StudioCanal

Best in Class – Insights

Advertising Intelligence International FAST Research: Omdia
Connected Devices Market Analysis & Insights: Looper Insights
Disc: The Untapped Value: Kantar Worldpanel
The Platforms & The Players: BB Media

Best in Class – Disc Packaging & Artwork

Dr Who and the Daleks: StudioCanal & Rob Watts Rogue Four
Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Directors Edition: Paramount
The Battle at Lake Changjin: Trinity CineAsia & Foz Creative
The Film Vault: Wave 1: Spark Brighter Thinking, Warner Bros. Discovery & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Three Colors Trilogy: A Curzon Collection: Curzon Film & Wim Wenders Stiftung

Best in Class – Social/PR

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile: DnA PR & Sony Pictures
NOPE Influencer Content: Universal Pictures & META
Pink Flamingos: 50th Anniversary: DnA PR, The Criterion Collection & Sony Pictures
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical – PR & Social Campaign: Sony Pictures & DDA
Spider-Man: 20th Anniversary: Sony Pictures & Play PR                          Uncharted: DnA PR & Sony Pictures
Where The Crawdads Sing – Elmley Nature Reserve: DnA PR & Sony Pictures
Wim Wenders: A Curzon Collection: Curzon Film

Best in Class – Video Asset

Emily the Criminal: Universal Pictures Content Group & Chinagraph
Halloween Ends: Universal Pictures & Prelude Creative
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile: Sony Pictures & Silk Factory
Rakuten TV Mega Points Week: NOAH London & Rakuten TV
See How They Run – HBO First Look: Once Upon A Time, Searchlight Pictures & HBO
Spider-Man: All Roads Lead To No Way Home: Sony Pictures
The Devil’s Hour – Teaser and Trailers: Once Upon A Time & Prime Video
The Making of The Crown Season Five: Once Upon A Time & Netflix

Campaign of the Year for Catalog

Ex Machina (4K UHD Special Edition): Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Get Carter (4K UHD): BFI
Superman 1-4 (4K UHD Steelbook Collection): Warner Bros. Discovery
The Film Vault Range: Universal Pictures & Warner Bros. Discovery
WB100 – Celebrating Every Story: Warner Bros. Discovery

Campaign of the Year for Film – Over £15m Box Office
Avatar: The Way of Water: The Walt Disney Company
Jurassic World Dominion: Universal Pictures
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical: Sony Pictures
The Batman: Warner Bros. Discovery

Campaign of the Year for Film – Up to £15m Box Office
65: Sony Pictures
Bullet Train: Sony Pictures
M3GAN: Universal Pictures

Campaign of the Year for Independent Film (sponsored by BIFA)
Aftersun: MUBI
Emily the Criminal: Universal Pictures Content Group
Lionesses: How Football Came Home: Altitude Film Entertainment
Terrifier 2: Signature Entertainment

Campaign of the Year for Specialist

Dance Craze: BFI
Lionesses: How Football Came Home: Altitude Film Entertainment
The Battle at Lake Changjin: Trinity CineAsia
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: Universal Pictures Content Group

Campaign of the Year for TV 

Better Call Saul: Final Season: Sony Pictures
Chucky: Season 1: Universal Pictures
House of The Dragon: Season 1: Warner Bros. Discovery
The Kingdom Exodus: MUBI

Commercial Initiative of the Year

Championing New Release in Retail: Frontline
Icon Film Channel Premieres: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Next Generation Transactional Data: Official Charts Company
STUDIOCANAL Presents: StudioCanal
SVOD  Transactional Optimization: Sony Pictures
Unleashing the Power of Ad-Supported Viewing: Rakuten TV

Creative Initiative of the Year 

Christmas Catalog Campaign: Sony Pictures
Gü Home Cinema x Emily PVOD Release: 1155 & Gü
The Amazing Maurice 360 Campaign: Once Upon A Time & Sky     Wednesday & for Outernet: Spark Brighter Thinking & Netflix

Hidden Gem

A Man Called Otto: Sony Pictures
Aftersun: MUBI
All Quiet on the Western Front: Spirit Entertainment/Netflix
Everything Everywhere All At Once: A24
M3GAN: Universal Pictures
My Old School: Dogwoof
Terrifier 2: Signature Entertainment
The Appointment: BFI
The Quiet Girl: Curzon
Triangle of Sadness: Lionsgate U.K.

Retailer of the Year – Digital

Prime Video
Rakuten TV
Sky Store
Virgin Media Store

Retailer of the Year – Physical

hmv
amazon.co.uk
Rarewaves

BARB: Netflix, Prime Video See Q2 Market Share Declines in the U.K.

Subscription streaming VOD pioneers Netflix and Prime Video saw slight viewership declines in the United Kingdom in the second quarter, ended June 30, according to new data from Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board (BARB).

Netflix and Prime Video saw their market leading household penetration drop to 57.7% of U.K. homes, down from 59% in the first quarter ended March 31. Another 44% of homes had access to Prime Video in Q2, down from almost 45% in Q1.

Among other SVOD services in the United Kingdom, Comcast-owned NOW remained unchanged at 7.1% of U.K. households, as did Apple TV+ with 6.6% penetration. Disney+ saw a slight uptick with 25.2% penetration, up from 24.8% in Q1. The quarter saw the arrival of Paramount+, which generated 5.9% U.K. household penetration.

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U.K. Lost 340,000 SVOD Subs in Q1 — Driven by Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+

The U.K. might be the second-largest country with streaming video-on-demand subscribers, but that tally fell in the first quarter, ended March 31.

New data from Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) indicates that 19.08 million U.K. homes (67.4% of households) had access to a SVOD service in Q1, down 1.7% from 19.42 million households in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2022.

Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ saw small quarterly drops in the number of U.K. homes with access to their services: 16.96 million homes had access to Netflix in Q1 2023, down 1.1% from 17.15 million in Q4 2022. Another 12.90 million homes had access to Prime Video down 1.7% from 13.12 million, and 7.14 million homes had access to Disney+, a decline of 1.9% from 7.28 million in Q4 2022.

By contrast, Now TV and Apple TV+ saw quarterly gains. About 2.03 million homes had access to NOW in Q1, up 8% on 1.88 million in Q4 2022. And 1.91 million homes had access to Apple TV+, an increase of 13% from 1.69 million homes in Q4.

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Warner’s ‘Black Adam’ Retains Spot as Top-Selling U.K. Home Entertainment Title for Week Ended Feb. 1

Warner Bros.’s DC Comics antihero film Black Adam retained the No. 1 sales ranking in the United Kingdom for the week ended Feb. 1.

Starring Dwayne Johnson as the eponymous character, the movie leads the Official Film Chart on digital sales for another week, with 57% of its revenue made up of electronic sellthrough.

Separately, 20th Century Studios’ Oscar-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin moved up two spots to No. 2, with Paramount Home Entertainment’s former chart topper Top Gun: Maverick climbing back up to No. 3 for the week ahead of Warner’s Elvis at No. 4.

Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures’ The Menu, led by Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Hoult, moved up four spots to No. 5, while Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Jurassic World Dominion jumped two spots to No. 6, ahead of Halloween Ends (No. 7) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (No. 8).

Lionsgate’s demonic horror Prey For The Devil (No. 9) entered the top 10 for the first time from No. 14. In the film, a nun (Jacqueline Byers) believes she is answering a call to become an exorcist. As she battles to save the soul of a young girl, she discovers mysterious ties to her own past.

Finally, rounding out the top 10 was Universal’s family favorite Sing 2.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Feb. 1, 2023

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 BLACK ADAM WARNER
2 4 THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN DISNEY/SEARCHLIGHT
3 5 TOP GUN: MAVERICK PARAMOUNT
4 3 ELVIS WARNER
5 9 THE MENU DISNEY/SEARCHLIGHT
6 8 JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION UNIVERSAL
7 2 HALLOWEEN ENDS UNIVERSAL
8 7 LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE SONY PICTURES
9 13 PREY FOR THE DEVIL LIONSGATE
10 11 SING 2 UNIVERSAL

© Official Charts Company 2023

Netflix Signs Up for BARB Media Measurement in the U.K.

Netflix has agreed to allow the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) to report on the streamer’s daily viewership across the United Kingdom.

Beginning Nov. 1, BARB will report Netflix viewing daily, covering both the service’s reach and program viewership to its clients. BARB currently reports viewing for more than 300 pay-TV channels, broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) and (AVOD/SVOD) services in the U.K.

Netflix viewing data will be available to all BARB clients on the morning of Nov. 2 through existing viewing analysis software and data-processing bureau.

“Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently,” Reed Hastings, co-founder/co-CEO of Netflix, said in a statement. “We’ve kept in touch with BARB since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the U.K.”

Through 2022, U.K. broadcasters’ linear channels and on-demand services have accounted for two-thirds of all identified viewing, while SVOD/AVOD services comprise about one-sixth of all viewing. The average daily viewing time to broadcasters’ services was 159 minutes in September 2022, and the average for SVOD/AVOD services was 36 minutes per day.

“We took a big step forward last year when we started reporting audiences to streaming services,” said Justin Sampson, CEO of BARB. “Netflix’s commitment to BARB sends a clear signal that what we’re doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”

Netflix has nearly 14 million subscribers in the U.K.

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Netflix Generated $1.54 Billion in U.K. Revenue in 2021

Netflix generated more than $1.54 billion (£1.4 billion) in revenue in the United Kingdom in 2021, from 13.8 million subscribers, according to first-time data disclosed by the subscription streaming VOD pioneer. Netflix, which launched service in the United Kingdom in 2012, previously combined U.K. revenue with other European territories through its Dutch headquarters to reduce its tax burden.

By separately filing revenue in the United Kingdom, Netflix saw its pre-tax income triple to $30.7 million (£27.9 million), and the tax paid on that income nearly doubled to $7.7 million (£7 million).

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Netflix spent more than $1 billion on U.K. film and TV show productions in 2021, employing thousands of people in the region — up 44% from 2020.

“The U.K. has one of the world’s leading film and TV industries, that’s why we invest more in production here than anywhere outside North America,” Netflix said in a statement. “We’re committed to investing in the U.K.’s creative community bridging the skills gap and creating high-quality jobs on some of our biggest global hits such as ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘The Witcher,’ and ‘Three-Body Problem,’ among others.”

Netflix reports third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) fiscal results Oct. 18.