FuboTV Boots Up Next-Gen App on Fire TV
AMC Orders ‘Geeking Out’ Late Night Talk Show
TV Everywhere Continues Its Climb

NBCU Plans Global Telemundo Enterprises Headquarters

NBCU Plans Global Telemundo Enterprises Headquarters

NBCU’s Telemundo Tuesday said it will be combining operations in a new 450,000 square foot, $250 million headquarters in Miami-Dade County, Fla.

The facility, on 21 acres at NW 25th Street and the Florida Turnpike, will initially be home to 1,100 employees with room to grow to a total capacity of 1,300.

It will combine the Florida-based operations of the Telemundo Network and studios (which are currently in Hialeah and Medley, respectively), Telemundo International (Coral Gables) and cable network NBC Universo and its digital media and NBCU’s Latin American headquarters (Miami Springs).

NBCU said the headquarters will create 3,000 construction and construction-related jobs and generate $400 million in business for South Florida, with a planned move-in date of early 2018.

“This is a very important step in the evolution of our company at a time when we’re enjoying tremendous momentum and have just wrapped a record-breaking year,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group, in announcing the new digs. “Our new global headquarters will fold all of our division’s offices and production studio spaces into one state-of-the-art facility that will help us do business in a more collaborative way.”

Conde called it a “significant investment [that] clearly underscores once again NBCUniversal’s and Comcast’s long term commitment to our business and the U.S. Hispanic market.”

Dish Faces Blackout of 16 NPG Stations

Dish Faces Blackout of 16 NPG Stations

Dish Network subscribers in seven states could lose access to programming from 16 News-Press & Gazette stations if a retransmission consent deal is not reached by 6 p.m. tonight (Feb. 23).

News of the dispute was first reported by TVPredictions.com.

News-Press Gazette owns ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates in California, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Arizona. Cities involved in the dispute include El Paso, Texas (KVIA-CBS); Yuma, Ariz. (KECY-Fox), Bend, Ore. (KTVZ-NBC); Colorado Springs, Colo. (KRDO-ABC) and Santa Barbara, Calif. (KEYT-ABC). The company has set up a website for viewers to find additional information regarding the negotiations.

The dispute appears to be over the amount of money NPG wants to be paid for its content, as well as re-broadcasting some stations in HD rather than SD.

“Only News Press & Gazette Company can force a blackout of its channels,” Dish said in a statement. “Dish has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. We are unsure why News Press & Gazette decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.

“Dish is actively working to finalize a deal before the contract expires,” the company continued.

FuboTV Boots Up Next-Gen App on Fire TV

fubo-tv-streaming-soccer

fuboTV, a “virtual” MVPD that offers a mix of sports and entertainment programming over-the-top, has picked the Amazon Fire TV to introduce a next-gen app that includes a cloud-based DVR as well as in-app purchasing capabilities.

The in-app purchasing component, also offered on the Fire TV Stick, will enable its subscribers to make buys using Amazon’s 1-Click settings, the programmer noted.

“Amazon customers now have even more ways to watch the best soccer and entertainment TV has to offer today,” said David Gandler, CEO fuboTV, in a statement. “With the introduction of fuboTV’s DVR feature on Amazon Fire TV and Fire HDX tablets, Amazon customers can now watch and re-watch their favorite matches and shows on DVR.”

The new app arrives soon after fuboTV inked distribution deals with Univision Communications, Pivot and Revolt Media & TV that added 15 networks to its lineup. Earlier this month, fuboTV said it had about 40,000 subscribers, putting it behind only Sling TV among providers in the virtual MVPD category. fuboTV launched service in January 2015.

fuboTV said it now broadcasts over 2,000 live sporting events from more than half of the major international soccer leagues and other sporting events from around the world, thanks to deals with networks such as beIN SPORTS, GolTV, Univision Deportes and Benfica TV. The service starts at $9.99 per month.

fuboTV also supports Web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, the Apple TV, Google Chromecast adapter, and Roku players and Roku TVs. It recently extended support to Binge On, T-Mobile’s optional bandwidth-optimization service that delivers video in 480p and exempts those streams from T-Mobile’s cellular data caps.

Starz Greenlights ‘The White Queen’ Sequel

Starz Greenlights 'The White Queen' SequelFaye Marsay as Anne Neville in Starz’s ‘The White Queen’

Starz has greenlit production for limited series The White Princess, a followup to it’s 2015 The White Queen miniseries event.

Emma Frost (The White Queen, The Man in the High Castle, Shameless) will serve as showrunner and executive producer of the eight-part series, which tells the story of England’s War of the Roses from the perspective of the women.

The White Princess is based off of the best-selling novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory, who also serves as executive producer for the limited series.

“The White Queen was a phenomenal performer at Starz, averaging 4.8 million multiplatform viewers per episode in the United States,” Carmi Zlotnik, managing director for Starz, said in a release. “There is a dearth of programming that tells women’s stories and The White Queen was embraced with great success by audiences worldwide The passionate fanbase for Philippa Gregory’s historical novels are undeniable and we are confident The White Princess will become the next must-see fandom drama series.”

Fox Sports, NextVR Strike Five-Year Pact

Fox Sports, NextVR Strike Five-Year Pact

RELATED: ‘Virtual Reality — Ready for a Closeup’ Webinar, Feb. 24, with Andrew Trickett (Merge VR) and Tony Mugavero (Littlstar), moderated by Next TV editor Jeff Baumgartner

NextVR, a company that specializes in live-action virtual reality broadcast technology, said it has inked a five-year partnership with Fox Sports to collaborate on VR coverage of a range of sporting events.

Financial terms were not announced, but the deal comes on the heels of recent VR tests Fox Sports and NextVR conducted for some of Fox’s boxing and NASCAR coverage, as well as last year’s U.S. Open golf tournament.

Fox and NextVR said the new agreement will include VR-enabled, live broadcast sporting events. Last month, they teamed on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) matches, and will next focus on Sunday’s Daytona 500.

They said future VR programming from Fox Sports will be announced “soon,” and will be offered on the NextVR portal, which features a section dedicated to Fox Sports. Consumers with the Samsung Gear VR headset can access that content by downloading the NextVR app on any Gear VR-compatible smartphone.

While the business model for VR is still being hammered out, “we know enough about this technology to know that it’s incredibly interesting,” Michael Davies, senior vice president of field and technical operations at Fox Sports, said in a recent interview for this week’s Multichannel News VR cover story (subscription required). “It’s a very compelling way to view sports.”

“We have worked with FOX Sports for over a year to test live, virtual reality programming across several sports,” Brad Allen, executive chairman, NextVR, said in statement. “This wide-ranging agreement is proof that our technology provides an exciting and compelling option to witness great sporting events in virtual reality.”

“It’s all about delivering something new and exciting for our viewers,” added Eric Shanks, Fox Sports president, chief operating officer and executive producer. “Virtual reality is the next great frontier in immersive experiences for fans across a wide variety of sports. It’s a rapidly changing technology, and this deal with NextVR positions us to be on the front lines for years to come.”

Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever

Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever

Warner Bros. has inked a deal to acquire DramaFever, the U.S.-based OTT subscription VOD service that offers a large library of Korean TV shows and films, as well as programming from other countries.

Warner Bros. is acquiring DramaFever from SoftBank, which bought the OTT service in October 2014. DramaFever, founded in 2009, will continue to be led by its co-founders, Seung Bak and Suk Park and be based in New York. Bak and Park will report to Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group, said in a statement

The deal, expected to close in Q2 2016, enters play as units within Time Warner continue to expand their focus on OTT technologies and services, including HBO Now, the stand-alone OTT premium service launched last year, and iStreamPlanet, acquired last year by Turner Broadcasting System.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Warner Bros. said its latest buy will bring in valuable expertise and content and help it to connect with millennials and niche audiences.

“This is a great fit for Warner Bros.,” Hunegs said, in a statement. “With Warner Bros.’ resources, we will rapidly enhance and grow the DramaFever channel. As importantly, we are bringing to Warner Bros. a great and talented team, led by Seung Bak and Suk Park, that will move quickly with our own distribution and creative teams to create and build more OTT services.”

DramaFever sells a set of premium-level subscriptions, including an ad-supported “Rookie” tier for 99 cents per month, an ad-free, streaming-only “Idol” package for $4.99 per month, and “Superstar,” a service with no ads and the ability to download and watch titles offline for $9.99 per month. DramaFever has not revealed subscriber figures.

DramaFever supports several platforms, including Google Chromecast, iOS and Android mobile devices, Web browsers, Apple TV, and the Xbox 360.

Viacom Gets Dish Extension

Viacom Gets Dish Extension

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said the cable giant has received a short extension onl its carriage agreement with Dish Network and is hopeful a longer term deal can be reached.

Viacom’s carriage deal with Dish’s 14 million subscribers was scheduled to expire at the end of the month. Investors were concerned that, given Viacom’s ratings pressures, there was a strong chance Dish would consider not carrying the channels.

Dauman announced the extension on Viacom’s fiscal first-quarter conference call with analysts, adding he expected a deal can be reached that will be “productive for both sides.”

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