In The Frame - February ’18
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In The Frame - February ’18

Formula 1 goes OTT this season as F1 TV launches an OTT platform delivering commercial-free live streams of each race with multi-language commentary, as well as exclusive access to all 20 on-board cameras throughout every race. F1 TV Pro will have unique feeds not available on any other platform with the capability of multi-level personalisation.

Years after closing its original content division, Virgin Media is to work with Amazon to produce a 10-part sci-fi series called The Feed. It's Virgin’s first major deal with a global streaming service.

Netflix has unveiled its first Arabic original series, a young adult fantasy adventure called Jinn, scheduled for a global launch next year.

BBC News

The BBC iPlayer recorded its best year in 2017, with 272 million programmes streamed per month on average during the year, with total requests for the year increasing to 3.3 billion - up 11 per cent on 2016. And the recent Winter Olympics in PyeongChang was the BBC’s most-streamed Olympic Winter Games (more than 22 million times). The previous record was for Sochi 2014’s 6.2 million.

Finally, the licence fee is to rise for the second successive year, this time going up from £147 to £150.50.

Sky News

Earlier this month, we discussed Disney’s proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox, including that company’s 39 per cent stake in Sky. In an interview with CNBC, the suggestion was put to Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company chairman & CEO, that another huge player in the industry – “maybe, say, a Comcast” – could come in and effectively make Fox a better offer. The Disney boss refused to be drawn on the possibility but Comcast have made a £22.1 billion takeover bid for Sky, challenging the existing offer from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox.

Comcast is one of the world’s largest media and telecoms companies but it relies on the US for the most of its income. Buying Sky would significantly increase Comcast’s revenues from outside the US. Disney could make an offer directly to Sky shareholders and not wait for Murdoch, or Comcast, to do a deal first.

In other Sky news, the next stage in the development of Sky Q has been announced, as has a partnership with music subscription service Spotify.

And finally…

  • The 90th Academy Awards night takes place on 5th March at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Shape Of Water has the most Oscars nominations, with 13. All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land all received a record 14 nominations.
  • The Shape of Water won three Baftas recently: Guillermo del Toro won for Director and composer Alexandre Desplat collected the Original Music award, his third BAFTA win; the film also won Production Design.
  • Avid’s CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. has been sacked following “violations of company policies related to workplace conduct.”
  • HBO’s Game of Thrones, meanwhile, won five awards (the most wins of any show or film) including best photoreal episode at the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards in Beverly Hills.
  • Broadcast TECH has announced a series of production technology-focused events to be hosted throughout 2018, all of which will be free to attend. They begin next month with a day dedicated to sports tech innovation. May's event focuses on AI and machine learning, and June's looks at security issues in media and entertainment.
  • Speaking of sport, unmanned robotic cameras will be used to cover every court at Wimbledon this year.
  • Lewis Gilbert, the director of Alfie, Educating Rita and three James Bond films, has died. He was 97.

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