In this week’s special NATPE: Miami International TV Newswire, Variety looks at the AVoD revolution through a new deal between Tubi and Mexico’s Azteca, ITV and Kew Media sell big across the Americas and two high-profile HBO Latin America series join Hulu Japan’s Latin American showcase.
Tubi and Azteca Presage AVoD Revolution
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Tubi, the world’s largest AVoD (Advertising Supported Video on Demand) player, based out of San Francisco, signed this week a strategic partnership with Mexico’s broadcast network TV Azteca to launch a localized Spanish-language app.
As part of the deal, TV Azteca will sell ads on behalf of Tubi while promoting the service to the company’s audience across several platforms. Several of TV Azteca’s more popular titles will also be made available to Tubi members in Mexico, including: “Exatlón Mexico,” “MasterChef,” and “Lo que La Gente Cuente.”
That’s the deal. More will come. In an Ampere Analysis report, “Profile: Advent of the AVoD Avalanche,” analyst Guy Bisson predicted 2020 as the year of AVoD. “Usage of the key U.S. AVoD services is still relatively low… but the low usage, especially when compared to SVoD peers, belies the quiet before the storm,” he said in his report, noting a build in scale with increased international rollouts predicted in the coming months.
While SVODs scramble to put out new content and build their originals catalogs, older programming is finding its place on AVoD players, whose catalogs typically contain 80% or more of titles over five years old. It should be expected then that AVoD players and rights holders alike will continue seeking out deals like the one between Tubi and Azteca.
ITV Announces New Deals
U.K. broadcaster ITV closed a slate of U.S. deals at Miami’s NATPE for high-end scripted content. Leading the pack is “Brassic,” the highest-rated comedy for Sky in the past seven years following its August debut, which has gone to Hulu. The series is produced by Calamity Films for Sky One and written by BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst. Although it hasn’t yet aired for ITV, another comedy, Genial Productions’ “The Trouble with Maggie Cole” starring “The Vicar of Dibley’s” Dawn French, was scooped by PBS Distribution. “Gold Digger” sold to AMC Networks’ Acorn TV platform. Starring Julia Ormond and Ben Barnes, the series will premiere in the U.S. and Canada this summer. ITV has also partnered with BritBox North America to co-produce an upcoming mystery series “McDonald & Dodds,” starring Jason Watkins (“The Crown”). The deal includes two BritBox Originals, “Sticks and Stones” and “Wild Bill.”
Kew Media Sells Across the Americas
AMC Networks platform Sundance Now has acquired psychological drama series “Cold Call,” produced for Channel 5 by Chalkboard, in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Also going to Sundance Now in the U.S. and Canada as part of a 40-title package deal are “Aileen: Life & Death of a Serial Killer,” “Biggie and Tupac,” “Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” “Three Days in June,” “Soufra,” “Princess Diana: A Life After Death,” “Frackman,” “The Thread” and “Trumbo.” AMC Networks in U.S. has acquired the first four seasons of World Productions’ “Line of Duty” from “Bodyguard” scribe Jed Mercurio. Claro Video in Latin America picked up the first five seasons of the program, while Société Radio-Canada picked up Season 5. Three Agatha films were picked up by Société for TV and SVOD. Grey Juice Lab has signed SVOD deals in Uruguay – “Line of Duty” and “Heartland,” and the Dominican Republic – “Line of Duty,” “Heartland,” “Jack Taylor” and “The Great Train Robbery,” among others. ViacomCBS Networks Americas has picked up “Margaret Atwood: A Word After A Word After A Word is Power” for Paramount Channel Latin America. Canada’s ZommerMEdia Limited channel ONETV secured 238 episodes of programming including “The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp” and “Bulging Brides,” and Yes TV Canada has renewed “Highway to Heaven.”
Hulu Japan Picks up Two HBO Latin America Series
“Sr. Ávila” and “The Business” will be available on HULU Japan after a deal was struck with HBO Latin America. Beginning in March, the series will be made available as part of a Latin American showcase hosted on the platform. Intended to show Japanese audiences that Latin American TV has more to offer than just telenovelas, the showcase will launch high-end scripted titles from March through June. In “Sr. Ávila,” Tony Dalton plays an insurance salesman who moonlights as a hitman in what proved to be one of HBO Latin America’s biggest hits when it landed in 2016. From Brazil, “The Business,” (“O Negócio”) follows Karin, Lunda, Magali and Mia, a fraternity of high-class call girls who have created an empire known as the “Oceano Azul” over four seasons.