In The Frame – August ’18
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In The Frame August ’18

Streaming / Online / Tech

Often described as a rival to YouTube, Facebook's Watch video-streaming service is rolling out worldwide, just over a year after its US launch and also competing for attention with linear TV, OTT services including Netflix and Amazon Video, and Facebook's own Instagram TV.

Tech giants continued their push into live sports this month. Facebook bought the rights to show top-flight Spanish football in the Indian subcontinent (matches will be free to watch), while Amazon hoped its coverage of the US Open would improve on other streaming services’ problems with their delivery of live sports. It didn’t go well: Amazon received so many complaints about its coverage that the company prevented more from being posted. Poor picture quality and a lack of a recording option were among the features criticised. In June 2018, Amazon won the rights to show 20 Premier League fixtures as part of the deal for 2019-22.

There are rumours that Amazon is planning to launch of an ad-supported video-on-demand service (AVOD) for owners of its Fire TV devices, and it’s been reported that more than one in five US households have at least one Amazon device, including Kindle, Echo and Fire TV.

Almost 800,000 fans of YouTube celebrities Logan Paul and KSI paid £7.50/$10 each to watch the two men in YouTube's first pay-per-view boxing match this month, which took place at the Manchester Arena, where 18,000 fans watched the contest. A rematch is expected to take place in the US in 2019.

Netflix is testing adverts for the first time, and HBO has announced a new Game of Thrones video game.

BBC News

Speaking at the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed several reforms for the UK media industry, including a tax on tech firms to help fund the BBC, establishing a sister organisation to the corporation called the British Digital Corporation (BDC) and allowing the British public and BBC staff to elect members of the BBC’s governing board.

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has lost 800,000 listeners since last year, and the only BBC stations to grow year-on-year were 6 Music, Asian Network, Radio 2 and Radio 1Xtra, according to the latest RAJAR audience figures.

BBC Four has announced two nights of “experimental programming” are to be shown on the channel early in September featuring “new and classic programmes exploring artificial intelligence (AI)”, while filming has begun for the second series of Fleabag, the multi award-winning hit.

And finally…

  • Britons spend an average of 24 hours a week online and smart TVs were in 42 per cent of households in 2017, according to Ofcom’s Communications Market 2018
  • Encompass has signed “a definitive agreement” to acquire Babcock’s Media Services business.
  • Virgin Media and UKTV have reached a long-term agreement which will restore all of UKTV’s channels and services to Virgin TV.
  • Broadcast TECH and BT Sport are teaming up to create a full-day, free-to-attend sports tech event in November, to be hosted in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
  • Bectu hosts an event for post-production and VFX firms. Bectu Post Fest, “a celebration of post-production and VFX craft”, will be held in London on Sunday 9 September.
  • Panasonic is to move its European HQ from London to Amsterdam in October to “avoid potential tax issues linked to Brexit”.
  • Cineworld is to open the UK's first 270-degree cinema screen. The world’s second-biggest cinema chain (by a number of screens, with more than 9,500) has an exclusive deal to bring ScreenX’s technology to 100 locations across the country.

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