In The Frame – July ’18
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In The Frame July ’18

Streaming / Online / Tech

Ofcom’s first annual Media Nations report was published this month. It reviews key trends in our industry, providing data and analysis and looking at the take-up and impact of subscription on-demand and streaming services.

One of the report’s findings was that, for the first time, UK subscribers of OTT services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime outnumber those signed up to pay-TV providers including Sky, BT and Virgin Media.

Earlier in the month, it was reported that Netflix is spending between $12 billion and $13 billion on content during 2018, an annual budget that far outstrips their rivals’ non-sports programming spend. Amazon Studios will invest $4 billion-plus, and Apple $1 billion. But shares in Netflix dropped significantly this month after the company reported slower-than-expected subscriber growth.

Hopster, a “Netflix-style app for children”, is to be offered with Talk Talk’s TV packages.

ESPN recently deployed a system that used 60 4K cameras to provide 360-degree replays. The 60 camera feeds are stitched together and, for each play, a single operator selects the pivot point on which the camera axis turns and can manipulate the replay from side to side and zoom in without losing resolution.

BBC News

The BBC enjoyed a record-breaking World Cup, with 44.5 million people tuning in to watch the tournament. Some viewers, however, who watched England's quarter-final against Sweden on the iPlayer, “were left fuming after the service went down minutes before the end of the game”.

The corporation says the preliminary findings and audience figures for its recent 4K Ultra HD trials during the royal wedding in May, the World Cup and Wimbledon highlight the improvements needed for live streaming.

The BBC has published its annual report for the financial year 2017/18. It includes the latest list of the corporation’s highest-paid stars. Gary Lineker, anchor for the BBC's TV coverage of the World Cup, has overtaken Chris Evans as the best-paid broadcaster, earning between £1.75 million and £1.76 million in 2017-18. The top 12 earners on the list are all men.

New content for 13-15 year olds who currently favour Netflix and YouTube has been launched on the iPlayer. YouTube stars Ali A and Mimi Missfit join the line-up of new shows in a “multi-genre mini-slate which includes drama, entertainment and factual content”. The shows will be made available as ‘bingeable’ box sets that’ll be accessible beyond the iPlayer’s traditional 30-day limit.

Viewers with a connected and capable smart TV can now instantly restart BBC programmes by pressing the green button on their TV’s remote control.

And finally…

  • A peak audience of 26.5 million people watched England go out of the World Cup on ITV, making it the most-watched five minutes of British TV since the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.
  • Not surprisingly, there was huge demand for World Cup games streamed on smart TVs, online and mobile devices, and cloud delivery platform Akamai has revealed how much data it streamed for 55 broadcasters worldwide during the tournament.
  • Channel 4's second headquarters will be in Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds, with the new base announced in the autumn.
  • Discovery has provided further details about the move of its playout services for non-live European channels from London to the US.
  • US cable giant Comcast has abandoned its takeover bid for 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets in order to concentrate on its attempt to buy Sky, which says its profits are up 7 per cent in what are likely to be its final annual results as an independent business.
  • The US Justice Department is appealing the ruling which allowed AT&T to complete the acquisition of Time Warner Inc., which Frame 25 wrote about last month.
  • Dave, Gold and Drama are among the 10 UKTV channels which Virgin Media customers could lose after a dispute between Virgin and the BBC over video-on-demand rights. Meanwhile, ITV has reached an agreement with Virgin Media to continue to make its channels available to the company’s four million TV customers for the next three years.
  • BT Sport has lost the right to show UFC from next year, with global broadcaster Eleven Sports picking up the mixed martial arts sport. Eleven has also acquired the rights to show Serie A and La Liga football, as well as USPGA Golf.
  • Ofcom has decided not to advertise or re-advertise local TV services for 13 locations to help protect the economic sustainability of the sector as a whole.

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