In The Frame October '21
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In The Frame October '21

This month's latest news across the industry.

Streaming/Online/Tech

Freeview has announced that its on-demand platform Freeview Play is now used in more than 10 million homes, and available in 20 million. Freeview Play is built into the majority of new TVs, 14 million of which have been sold since the service launched in 2015.

Netflix is believed to be bidding on a “crumbling army base in New Jersey” to transform it into one of the largest production hubs in the US. The 289-acre site of 96-year-old Fort Monmouth, about 50 miles south of New York City, was used to develop radar technology before it was closed by the Pentagon in 2011 when military budgets were cut. Netflix said in a statement it would transform Fort Monmouth into a “state-of-the-art production facility,” indicating a mix of soundstages, postproduction buildings and backlot filming areas. The streaming service added 4.4 million subscribers in the three months to 30 September, more than double the previous quarter.

HBO Max, the streaming platform from WarnerMedia, has launched in the Nordics and Spain, beginning its 27-territory introduction in Europe.

In a US survey of more than 1,380 Gen Z and millennial streaming subscribers, nearly 30% feel they are frequently running out of content to watch and more than 30% report they sometimes run out of content, as SVOD services feel the effects of pandemic-hit production in recent months.

In the UK, original and exclusive sports content continue to drive growth for SVOD services, according to new data.

BBC News

The BBC is to appoint external investigators to assess the impartiality of its coverage of contentious topics. Children’s programming, documentaries and educational material are among the corporation’s entire output to be analysed, director general Tim Davie has announced.

Drama, live sport and new documentaries helped BBC iPlayer to its best third quarter ever between July to September 2021. Programmes were streamed 1.5 billion times - up 20% on the same period last year, and up 49% on the same period in 2019. The most-streamed programme, with 6.8 million streams, was Vigil’s opening episode, while England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy was the second most popular programme of the quarter, streamed more than six million times.

And finally...

  • The National Film and Television School is launching a part-time virtual production course in partnership with WarnerMedia, WarnerMedia Access and StoryFutures Academy. The application deadline is 27 November 2021 and the first intake will start at the end of January 2022.
  • Sky and Apple have announced a new long-term agreement under which Apple TV+ will launch on Sky Glass and Sky Q later this year, and Sky’s UK customers will be able to access Sky Go on Apple TV devices in the first half of 2022.
  • Lord Grade, a former chief executive of Channel 4, is reported to be considering a bid for the PSB.
  • Channel 4’s Production Training Scheme, which has been running for more than 15 years and is designed to provide entry-level opportunities in TV production, has opened recruitment.
  • Arqiva has renewed its contract with A+E Networks EMEA for a further two years, including the delivery of VOD services to 35 European headend affiliate platforms.
  • The BFI London Film Festival has recorded 291,000 attendees across both physical and digital at its 2021 edition, held from 6-17 October. The figure is 7.6% down on last year’s record-breaking 315,000 attendance, which consisted primarily of online viewers.
  • The British Film Commission and Spain Film Commission have signed a memorandum of understanding, enhancing collaboration on film and high-end TV production between the countries.
  • Paul Dacre, the former Daily Mail editor, will be offered another chance to become chair of Ofcom “imminently”, ministers have confirmed.

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