A free version of short-form video streaming service Quibi is now available in Australia and New Zealand, with ads, as subscription versions are available in the US and Canada. The service is considering different payment models as it prepares to launch internationally and try to grow its subscriber base.
HBO has enlisted "Insecure" creator Issa Rae to produce "Seen & Heard," a two-episode special focusing on Black television's history from the viewpoints of creators and stars, the network said at the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing's virtual press tour. It also announced that production may resume before September on HBO Max's new show, "The Flight Attendant."
Pandemic-related advertising declines drove ViacomCBS' second-quarter revenue down by 12%, but it and company profits still beat expectations. ViacomCBS reports increases in revenue from digital and streaming video as well as satellite and cable fees.
Nielsen plans to lay off roughly 3,500 staff members and unload the Global Connect division before early 2021. Shifts in the advertising industry, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, hastened the restructuring.
"Mulan" will make its Sept. 4 US debut on Disney+ for $29.99 in what Bob Chapek, the service's chief executive officer, terms a "one-off" test of the premium video-on-demand model. Chapek said research has shown the move can "not only ... get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it's a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+."
Liberty Global reports that UK gains at parent Virgin Media's quad-play service kept year-to-year cash flow declines to 0.2% in its most recent quarter. This has been the best such period in more than two years for net increases in overall subscribers at Virgin, Liberty added.
Disney+ had 57.5 million subscribers on June 27, passing 60.5 million by Aug. 3, and lower costs at ESPN helped Walt Disney Co.'s operating income increase by 50% for its cable division. Total revenue dropped as the coronavirus pandemic slowed activity at studios and theme parks, but streaming growth helped propel the company's stock up following its report.
AMC Networks suffered more modest losses than analysts had expected for the quarter ending June 30, as executives attributed declines in revenue and net income to the pandemic. Leader Josh Sapan offered upbeat assessments, saying production on popular series will resume soon and streaming services showed subscriber and revenue growth.
Global online video star David Dobrik will host "Dodgeball Thunderdome," in which winners of eight episodes will go on to compete for $25,000 in the ninth. Challenges on the Discovery Channel series will include tests of strength, strategy and wits.
Lifetime movie "The Christmas Set Up," will be the first holiday cable film centered on a romance between LGBTQ people. The network also scheduled "Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story" as part of a new four-movie deal with the TV news veteran.