In The Frame February '21
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In The Frame February '21

This month's latest news across the industry.


ViacomCBS, the owner of Paramount Pictures, CBS and Nickelodeon, is to enter the SVOD market from 4 March when it launches in the US, Canada and Latin America. The company is aiming to grow its streaming revenue to more than $7 billion annually and reach 65-75 million subscribers by 2024. It’s unclear if the service, Paramount Plus, will launch in the UK.

A new report suggests it’s a question of when, not if, pay-TV customers cut the cord, given that live sports are the last service keeping many tied to their cable and satellite packages and major leagues pursue a direct-to-consumer model. Consequently, the report suggests, providers of OTT security software will enjoy strong growth in a market worth $452 million by 2026.

Netflix has released Downloads For You, a new feature which automatically downloads recommended shows or movies to a user’s mobile device based on their personal taste.

Arrow Video has launched a streaming service in the UK, the US and Canada, dedicated to cult films.

BBC News

Headroom, mental health programming and content, has been made available to help people cope with the challenges of lockdown.

The government has confirmed that from 1 April 2021 the cost of the annual TV licence fee will increase from £157.50 to £159.00. The BBC, meanwhile, has updated arrangements on TV licences for the over-75s, six months after the government’s decision to withdraw the concession. Free TV licences remain available, paid for by the BBC, to anyone aged 75 or over and receiving Pension Credit.

Digital UK Ltd, which is owned jointly by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, is to combine its Freeview operations with those of Freesat, the satellite platform.

The BBC has laid out its plans to deliver industry-leading workplace diversity and inclusion. The 2021-23 Diversity and Inclusion Plan will create a more diverse leadership team, boost career opportunities for people from all backgrounds, overhaul recruitment processes and increase accessibility for disabled staff.

And finally...

  • ITV is partnering with Creative Access to launch a mentoring programme. The diversity organisation will find and match 150 ITV staff with external mentees from under-represented groups.
  • ITV Studios, meanwhile, has teamed up with Media Trust to launch a similar scheme, the Media Trust & Screenskills’ Early-Stage Talent Mentoring Programme 2021, and has set up a production trainee project.
  • While spending in the UK on high-end TV – shows costing at least one million pounds per episode – is thriving, the amount spent here on making films is faring less well, and has been overtaken for the first time since the government introduced tax relief on high-end production to encourage more to be made in the UK in 2013.
  • The 2020 UK box office was led by 1917, while The Gentlemen was the top-grossing independent film..
  • Apparently Brits spend the equivalent of 15 days a year engaged in TV small-talk, with ‘unexpected endings’ topping the list of the most-discussed moments.
  • A peak audience of 8.7 million people – the biggest since 1983 – watched Scotland beat England in the Six Nations.
  • Manchester United fans in Africa can now gain access to MUTV under an agreement with StarTimes, the digital TV operator.
  • A UK company is developing three UK film studio sites, creating more than 300,000 square feet of studio space, which can be constructed anywhere in four months.
  • A new Frame 25 series explores what’s driving the recent development of several large-scale studios in the UK. Part one, published in January examines the development of Twickenham Studios, while February’s feature looks at the forthcoming Sky Studios Elstree.

From the latest news to the latest positions – click here to see Frame 25’s most recent additions to its list of available TV jobs