(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc acted on its own when the company decided how to offer ESPN and other Walt Disney Co channels in smaller custom TV packages, a spokeswoman for ESPN said on Wednesday.
Disney, Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox have said Verizon’s slimmer TV bundles violate existing agreements. The new offerings let customers sign up for a slimmed-down, cheaper bundle of 36 fixed channels through Verizon’s FiOS TV and add on genre-specific packages such as kids, sports or news.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc is pursuing a subscription video streaming service without commercials for the Chinese market, keeping with its traditional business model rather than seeking advertisers, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said on Wednesday.
The U.S.-based company previously said it was developing plans to launch a “modest” service in China if it can acquire permission to operate in the world’s most populous country. Chinese consumers are used to watching entertainment for free that is either supported by ads or illegally pirated.
(Reuters) – Video streaming pioneer Netflix Inc added more subscribers than projected in the United States and abroad during the first quarter, news that sent its shares up nearly 12 percent on Wednesday.
Net subscriber additions rose 22 percent year-over-year to 4.88 million in the March quarter, beating the company’s forecast of 4.05 million.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Chinese company Letv plans to bring its smartphones and smart TVs to the United States later this year and to launch a video streaming service for Chinese-speaking Americans, the company said on Tuesday.
Letv said it set up a U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, California, part of the Silicon Valley tech hub, and has opened an office in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Vin Diesel admits he made a mistake turning down the second film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise because he didn’t like the script.
“I realized later the audience didn’t give a shit about what I thought about the script. They wanted Dom Toretto,” Diesel said of his character, the leader of a team of street racers.
(Reuters) – Chinese film production company Huayi Brothers Media Corp has closed a three-year deal with new Hollywood studio STX Entertainment to jointly finance, produce and distribute up to 15 movies annually by 2016, the companies said on Wednesday.
The funding will allow STX to significantly expand its film production plans, Chief Executive Robert Simonds said in an interview. Financial terms were not disclosed.
(Reuters) – YouTube pioneer Michelle Phan, who built a business empire around her popular makeup tutorials, on Tuesday debuted a global online network devoted to beauty, fashion and lifestyle that features original series by her and other creators.
Phan launched the ICON network with Endemol Beyond, a premium channel network owned by Endemol Shine Group.
(Reuters) – Online video platform Vessel launched its paid subscription service on Tuesday, offering programming at least three days before other websites in a bid to reshape an industry dominated by free content on Google Inc’s YouTube.
Vessel, which costs viewers $3 a month, was founded by former Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar and Chief Technology Officer Richard Tom. They aim to create an early window for a selection of web video, similar to the way movies are released in theaters before they arrive on cable TV or the Internet.
March 18 (Reuters) – Discovery Channel founder John
Hendricks on Wednesday launched a subscription streaming service
for fans of science, technology and history, with the goal of
dominating the nonfiction category in on-demand, online video.
Hendricks said the ad-free service CuriosityStream fulfilled
his long-held desire to deliver programming that people can
watch whenever they want. He hopes it will become viewers’ third
or fourth online video subscription after choices like Netflix
Inc and Hulu.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co has started work on a sequel to “Frozen,” the best-selling animated movie of all time and a global merchandising phenomenon that helped push the media giant to record profits.
Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are returning for the sequel, Disney said on Thursday. No release date was set for the follow-up to “Frozen”, a surprise smash in 2013 that brought in nearly $1.3 billion in global ticket sales.