Global Expansions & New Tech: Paramount+ Japan, Warner Bros. Discovery UK, A+E Networks EMEA, and Google TV’s FAST Channels

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In this week’s edition of Entertainment Supply Chain Digest, we invite you to explore the thrilling world of entertainment expansion and innovation on a global stage. From the launch of Paramount+ in Japan to Warner Bros. Discovery’s ambitious UK endeavors, the expansive reach of A+E Networks EMEA, and the latest additions to Google TV’s FAST Channels, these stories exemplify the dynamic transformation of the entertainment industry across the globe. Brace yourself for a journey where boundaries fade away, and innovation knows no bounds.

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Featured Specializations and Advancements

Global innovations & breakthroughs in Streaming Solutions
  • Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) introduces Ad Break Automation, utilizing CLEAR AI technology, at IBC 2023. This innovation aims to boost revenue for content on various platforms, including FAST, AVOD, and Linear TV. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Amagi introduces DYNAMIC live-production and playout system for launching pop-up channels during live sports events, ideal for content owners looking to maximize ad revenues and reach new viewers. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Comcast Technology Solutions (CTS) introduces a cloud-based managed channel origination service in EMEA, partnering with Sky’s infrastructure. This service offers media companies a fully managed 24×7 solution for linear TV and OTT video channel creation, management, and distribution. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • “Media.Monks, a digital brand of S4Capital plc, unveils AI integration for personalized content creation at IBC 2023. Collaborating with NVIDIA and AWS, it efficiently delivers tailored content highlights using AI and machine learning. (๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ)
  • Phenix Real Time Solutions introduces a complete real-time streaming solution encompassing Server Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) and DRM, maintaining sub-half-second latency at scale. This enhances OTT streaming with seamless content protection and monetization without compromising quality.(๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
Key entities excelling in Content Production & Post-production Workflows
  • Prague’s PFX Studio partners with Qumulo and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to streamline post-production operations, consolidating locations and workflows onto the Qumulo File Data Platform. (Prague)
  • Sony introduces BURANO, a compact addition to the CineAlta digital cinema camera family, designed for single-camera operators and small crews, featuring a VENICE 2-matching sensor for high-quality, mobile filmmaking. (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต)
  • AI-Media highlights its AI-driven live-automatic-captioning solution, LEXI, offering real-time cost-effective captioning along with ALTA which provides IP-compatible closed captioning and subtitling encoding, adhering to global broadcast standards and supporting multiple languages and advertising cues using SCTE-35. (๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ)
  • Wondershare Filmora showcased AI-powered features at IBC 2023, including AI smart cutout, AI image transformation, AI copywriter, and AI Audio Stretch for enhanced video production capabilities. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)
  • “Adobe updates Creative Cloud video tools with AI-driven enhancements: Premiere Pro for dialog cleanup and filler word removal, After Effects with AI-based rotoscoping, and improved Frame.io integrations.(๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
Specialist companies Breaking Ground in Tech and Filmmaking
  • Kinefinity showcased its camera lineup, including the MAVO Edge 6K, MAVO mark2 S35, and MAVO mark 2 LF, at the 2023 IBC Show. The MC8020 Live Broadcast Camera System, supporting 2K HD, 4K HDR, and 8K HDR, made its European premiere. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ)
  • Digital Catapult, in collaboration with Target3D and PROTO, launched UK’s first Advanced Media Production studio network. It democratizes access to cutting-edge screen production technologies, including motion capture, virtual production, 5G private networks, and more. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • ARRI introduces SkyPanel X which is a versatile LED system, configurable for various applications with exceptional dimming, color quality, output, and beam performance. (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช)
  • INFiLED unveils the Studio Series, an LED system designed for broadcast, XR, and virtual production. It inspires creativity with vibrant contrasts, high brightness, precise colors, and a glare-resistant surface. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ)
  • KIRI Innovations has released an update to its 3D scanning solution. The KIRI Engine 2.10 update allows users with LiDAR-equipped iOS devices to create photorealistic 3D models rapidly, locally, at no extra cost. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)

IP Deals

Hottest IP Stories, Formats, Books, Games, Podcasts to be turned into the next big blockbuster
  • Belgium’s “Finder$ Keeper$” format is heading to Spain in a deal with ETB. The show is to be produced by K2000, a Mediapro company, in collaboration with The Mediapro Studio and format distributor Be-Entertainment. In the show, a family searches creatively for $100,000 hidden within their own home. (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Prime Video to produce a film adaptation of the Korean crime-action webtoon “Knuckle Girl.” This project is a Korea-Japan co-venture and centers around Ran, a talented female boxer who confronts school bullies and engages in underground fights. The film is produced by Kakao Entertainment’s Kross Pictures. (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Andrรฉ Holland, Kate Mara, Zazie Beetz, and Stephen McKinley Henderson star in “The Dutchman,” a psychological thriller based on Amiri Baraka’s play, produced by Cinemation Studios and Washington Square Films. The film operates under a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)ย 
  • Nordisk Banijay to produce a Norwegian version of the UK’s “Portrait Artist of the Year” for NRK. This adaptation will feature six episodes filmed in museums across Norway, where aspiring artists will paint portraits of celebrities. (๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช)
  • Particle6 Productions, a UK indie founded by Eline van der Velden, has acquired the book rights to Marieke Lexmond’s “The Madigan Chronicles”. They aim to expand the franchise’s audience with a 2023 Innovate UK Creative Catalyst grant, which supports creative industry growth. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)

Production Deals

Sneak peak into recently announced production projects worldwide
  • Indiana Production, now part of Vuelta Group, kicks off production on “Romeo is Juliet”. Directed by Giovanni Veronesi and starring Sergio Castellitto and Pilar Fogliati, it follows an actress who auditions as a man for Romeo after being rejected as Juliet. Co-produced by Capri Entertainment, the film will be distributed by Vision Distribution. (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น)
  • Dean Fujioka and Callum Woodhouse will star in “Orang Ikan,” a WWII creature horror film written and directed by Mike Wiluan. Set in 1942, it follows a Japanese soldier and a British POW stranded on a deserted island after their ship is torpedoed, only to discover they are not alone. The film starts production at Infinite Studios in Batam, Indonesia. (๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ)
  • Somos Productions and Piรฑolywood Studios are gearing up for “Ella es el 7,” a children’s and youth series set in Puerto Rico. With a diverse cast from multiple countries, it continues the successful tradition of previous musical productions. (๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท)
  • Green Inc., an Irish prodco, is commissioned by RTร‰ to produce “The 2 Johnnies Late Night Lock In”, a comedy series for RTร‰2 and RTร‰ Player. Led by comedy duo Johnny Smacks and Johnny B, the show promises late-night entertainment and well-known guest appearances. (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช)
  • Director Martรญn Cuervo is currently shooting the family comedy ‘Who’s Who?’ in Madrid. The film explores intra-family relationships, communication challenges, and mutual understanding while delivering plenty of laughter. This co-pro involves DeAPlaneta, Atresmedia Cine, and LAZONA, with support from Atresmedia and Movistar Plus+. (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ)

Season Renewals

More episodes on the way! Season Renewal Announcements
  • BBC has renewed the second Season of “Paranormal” with Sian Eleri. The popular box-set series is a collaboration between BBC Three and BBC Wales. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Disney+ has ordered the second season of the Japanese horror series “Gannibal.” The show is set in a fictional Japanese village and follows police officer Agawa Daigo as he uncovers disturbing secrets about the villagers and the enigmatic Goto family. (๐ŸŒ)
  • TLC’s “90 Day Fiancรฉ” is set to return with its landmark 10th season, celebrating its enduring success in showcasing diverse love stories from around the world. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)”
  • Apple TV+ is launching a lineup of kids and family programming for the autumn season, including the second season of “Interrupting Chicken”. The series is based on David Ezra Stein’s acclaimed 2011 Caldecott Honor-winning book series. (๐ŸŒ)
  • Fox has renewed “Lego Masters” for a fifth season, set to premiere in 2024-2025, ahead of the Season 4 premiere. The reality competition, based on the British series, features teams of two competing in complex brick-building challenges to determine the nation’s top amateur Lego builders. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)

Distribution Deals

Distributors securing worldwide content across different genres, languages and format types
  • An opulent Arabic film called “Sukkar,” inspired by Jean Webster’s “Daddy-Long-Legs,” is poised to become the Arab world’s first Western-style musical movie.ย  Soon to release in theatres in the MENA region, it is distributed by Beirut-based Empire Entertainment. (๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง)ย 
  • LevelK will handle international sales for the Canadian/Pakistani dramedy “The Queen Of My Dreams” which is a co-production between Shut up & Colour Pictures and Baby Daal Productions. The film explores the cultural journey of Azra, a Pakistani woman in Toronto, as she connects her mother’s past in Karachi with her own experiences in rural Canada following her father’s unexpected death. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ ๐ŸŒ)
  • The comedy horror film “There’s Something in the Barn” has secured pre-sales deals ahead of its world premiere at Sitges and Fantastic Fest. The movie has been picked up by Capelight, A Contracorriente, Vertigo Releasing, Telepool, Cinemundo, Scandinavian Film Distribution, Monolith, ADS, AQS, MCF Megacom, Best Film, Falcon, Cinemundo, Kismet, and Pictureworks. (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น, Scandinavia, ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ, Czech Rep & Slovakia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡งย  Gulf, ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment has secured the MENA distribution rights from Goodfellas for ‘The Boy and The Heron,’ a Studio Ghibli film known as the most expensive ever produced in Japan. (MENA)”
  • Cake is teaming up with Baby Octopus and Toybox to distribute the tween animated series “Sherwood” worldwide. The show reimagines the Robin Hood legend in a dystopian, climate-affected London and premiered on YouTube Premium in eight languages. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ)ย 

Acquisition Deals

Streamers & channels acquiring latest content across the world
  • Prior to MIPCOM, Fifth Season has secured sales for the drama “Best Interests” with several OTTs and broadcasters, including France Tรฉlรฉvisions, RTร‰, ABC, Hot, Antenna, NPO, and Now TV. ( ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ)
  • Globo has partnered with WAPA TV in Puerto Rico to bring “Pantanal” to the region. This telenovela, part of Globo’s ongoing collaboration with Hemisphere Media Group, explores the epic tale of the Leรดncio and Marruรก families in a stunning natural backdrop. (๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท)
  • Prime Video Latin America will stream “Latido,” starring Marina de Tavira. The film, which premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival, explores themes like teenage pregnancy, adoption challenges in Mexico, and the role of grandmothers as caregivers. (Latin America)”
  • TBS has broadened its comedy lineup by acquiring the hit series “Modern Family.” This award-winning show follows the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker family as they navigate life’s complexities.(๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)ย 
  • Tastemade is set to feature Seasons 3 and 4 of David Moscow’s food show “From Scratch.” In this series, actor David Moscow takes on recipes from chefs and goes on a journey to personally source every ingredient by hunting, diving, foraging, and growing to create the meal. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)

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Partnerships/M&A

Cross-Border Collaborations, Joint Ventures, M&A and Partnerships!
  • Paramount+ is set to launch in Japan in December 2023, and will be available on local streaming services J:COM and Wowow at no extra cost. This expansion follows Paramount+’s entry into South Korea last year through a partnership with TVing, owned by CJ ENM. (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต)ย 
  • Viaplay Group and Vodafone Greece have teamed up to bring Viaplay Select content to Vodafone TV subscribers in Greece. This partnership provides access to premium series and films for Vodafone TV’s subscribers and extends Viaplay Select’s reach to 11 European markets and a total of 23 worldwide. (๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท)
  • Bell Media has extended its partnership with Snapchat for another year, allowing its premium content to be featured on Snapchat Stories and Spotlight. This collaboration showcases Bell Media’s diverse content and brand partnerships on Snapchat’s news and entertainment platform. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)
  • Cineverse, a streaming technology firm, has partnered with MEDIAGENIX, a content supply-chain solutions developer to address the growing demand in the fast-growing FAST ecosystem by enabling channel operators to create and manage FAST channels more efficiently and cost-effectively. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Little Dot Studios, an All3Media Company, has partnered with Novocomedy to oversee Novocomedy’s official YouTube and Facebook channels, handling management, content creation, and monetization. The first channel to be launched will be Novopranks. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)

Companies Making Headlines

Launch and Expansions of facilities, studios, services & technologies
  • Astro Productions acquires Basecamp Films, merging assets and expertise into Astro Sound+Vision, aiming to revolutionize post-production services for Astro and the industry in Malaysia.(๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery plans to expand UK’s Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden with 10 sound stages and 400,000 sq. ft. of space, enhancing production capacity by 50%, primarily for DC Studios. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • A new water-based film studio, Studio M, has opened within South Korea’s largest filming facility, Studio Cube. Located in Daejeon, known for hosting the shooting of “Squid Game”. (๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท)
  • Hanover Studios is now open for outside productions in Albuquerque. The 7.2-acre facility includes a 25,000 sq. ft. clear span stage with a 42-foot ceiling, sound-proofing, and more. A second stage and a specialized production/post-production facility are also in the works. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • “KathaVersse Media Network, an IP studio, secures seed funding, led by creative entrepreneur Roshan Abbas. The company aims to create long-lasting content IPs for tier 2 and tier 3 audiences in India and scale its content business by adapting their video IPs in different formats such as Audio, Animation, Merchandise, and more. (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ)
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Fast Channels

World of FAST channels & related market moves
  • OTTera is partnering with ZEE Entertainment to introduce multiple FAST channels, including ZEE BollyWorld, the first Hindi FAST channel. This collaboration aims to extend ZEE’s global reach and provide viewers with access to their favorite Indian shows and movies. (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • A+E Networks EMEA is expanding its reach by launching its three FAST channels, Inside Crime, Mystery TV, and World War TV, on the Rakuten TV platform. (EMEA)ย 
  • Swiss AVOD and FAST channel provider, wedotv, is extending its presence in Germany and Austria by launching wedotv FAST channels on the streaming service, Joyn. Owned by ProSiebenSat.1. Joyn subscribers will gain free access to wedotv’s FAST channels, including wedo movies, wedo sports, and wedo big stories. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น)
  • Google TV and Android TV devices have expanded their offerings by adding four additional FAST channels from NBCUniversal. Among these channels are “Murder, She Wrote” in English and “Lo Mejor de Telemundo” in Spanish, featuring popular dramas, reality shows, and novelas. (๐ŸŒ)”
  • FilmRise is broadening its content on Samsung TV Plus in the US and Canada, introducing more FAST/AVoD channels with 600+ hours of programming, encompassing 19 TV series and 120+ films. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)

New Global Arrivals

Recent biggest releases across the globe!
  • Netflix brings romance with ‘Love Again,’ an English remake of the 2016 German film ‘SMS fรผr Dich,’ starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas as Mira Ray, dealing with her fiancรฉ’s loss. (๐ŸŒ)
  • “Make Me Scream” started streaming on Prime Video recently. Hosted by horror fans Tempestt Bledsoe and Darryl M. Bell, celebrity teams face frights, aiming not to scream and win the Medal of Mayhem. (๐ŸŒ)
  • “Saw X”, premierers globally, offers immersive horror in 4DX theaters with sensory effects. Tobin Bell to return as John Kramer. The film is set between the events of Saw I and II. (๐ŸŒ)
  • “Expendables 4” returns as the world’s last line of defense, featuring an arsenal of elite fighters, for a worldwide theatrical release. (๐ŸŒ)ย 
  • “Set to stream on Hulu, Stephen King’s “The Boogeyman,” directed by Rob Savage, adapts a classic tale into a terrifying story about a young girl tormented by a malicious monster. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
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