In The Frame - November '17
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In The Frame - November '17

Streaming / Online / Tech

Amazon have announced a series of deals this month. Firstly, the company is to turn Lord of the Rings into a TV series at a cost of $1 billion (£755 million), including $250 million for the rights, $750 million to film six series, making it the most expensive TV show ever.

The company has also struck a five-year deal for the UK rights to show the US Open. The grand slam tennis tournament had previously been shown in the UK by Sky and Eurosport, the latter announcing that it has the rights in continental Europe.

The Amazon deal has fuelled speculation regarding a possible move by the company for other sports rights, including those for the Premier League. BT and Sky are preparing to bid to renew their £5.14 billion Premier League rights early next year. Google, Apple, Netflix and Facebook could also be interested. Amazon’s stock market value of $547 billion makes it about 10 times the size of Sky and BT combined.

Staying with football, Amazon have signed a deal with Manchester City worth more than £10 million for a behind-the-scenes series following the club through the current season. The Premier League has agreed to the series, which is likely to appear on Prime's on-demand service in autumn 2018.

BBC News

The BBC is to publish detailed information about viewers’ complaints it receives. Ofcom wants the corporation to become more transparent. The corporation will have to reveal the number of complaints it receives every fortnight, identify shows that received more than 100 complaints, and explain editorial issues raised by the complaints and whether they were upheld. ITV and Channel 4 disclose similar information fortnightly but Ofcom began regulating the BBC only this year. The BBC currently publishes the total number of complaints received every month but does not identify programmes.

The BBC and ATP have announced an extension to their broadcast deal for the ATP Finals, ensuring the live broadcast of the tournament in 2019 and 2020.

And finally…

  • The government has chosen ex-Channel 4 chair Lord Burns to be the next chairman of Ofcom. The cross-bench peer takes over from Dame Patricia Hodgson from January 1 next year.
  • Channel 4 has become the exclusive UK partner of the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX), a pan-European TV advertising alliance which is designed to take on Google and Facebook, who dominate online advertising.
  • AT&T's takeover of Time Warner is in jeopardy as the US justice department aims to block the $85 billion deal. AT&T and Time Warner have submitted a joint court filing arguing that their proposed merger is “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer”. If the takeover is blocked, it could have a knock-on effect on 21st Century Fox's dealings, as Frame 25 wrote about here, particularly if the UK's Competition and Markets Authority rules against Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky on the grounds of media plurality and a commitment to broadcasting standards.
  • Blue Planet II is year's most-watched British TV show. The first episode of the BBC’s latest David Attenborough series was watched by 14.1 million, beating Strictly and The X Factor.
  • Peter Kay has announced the return of the BAFTA award-winning Car Share. Two brand-new specials will go out on BBC One: Car Share: Unscripted, which is entirely improvised, and a finale, which will be broadcast next year.
  • Arqiva is to postpone its stock market flotation, blaming “IPO market uncertainty”.
  • Ericsson has reverted to using the Red Bee Media brand name and identity, after taking over the company in 2014 and merging its own Broadcast and Media Services business.

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