The number of Canal+-branded channels available in Poland will be increased to eight at the beginning of next month. Read the story »
Amazon has scored a coup for its new film production arm by signing Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee for his next film, according to a report from the Wrap. Called Chiraq, the project is reportedly set in Chicago and revolves around a the city's gun violence (Chiraq is a derogatory mashup of "Chicago" and "Iraq"). Lee is said to be pursuing Samuel L. Jackson and native Chicagoans Jeremy Piven, Common and Kanye West to star. The deal marks the first big splash for Amazon Original Movies, an Amazon Studios venture aimed at producing films for theatrical release and Prime Instant Video streaming.
Source: The Wrap
Beamly, the social TV app that launched as Zeebox, has seen an 11 fold increase in users since its relaunch 12 months ago. Read the story »
How big of a difference do those extra 50 cubic centimeters in Mario Kart 8 make? Well, Iwata and Co. have a video showing the current fastest/most difficult setting (150cc) side by side with the 200cc level the outfit announced last week. The trip around Piranha Plant Slide starts out slowly enough, but it isn't long before the differences start to show. There's roughly a five second gap between when Mario passes the first eponymous flora on the 200cc speed and 150cc, for instance, and the lead only grows from there. By the end of the lap, the lead is almost 15 seconds. That's quite a bit! Anywho, the video, along with a few others, is just below and the free update hits April 23rd -- see you on Rainbow Road.
Source: Nintendo Wii U UK (YouTube)
German video-on-demand (VOD) provider maxdome has secured an extensive rights package from Hollywood studio Walt Disney Pictures. Read the story »
Starz Play Arabia has launched in conjunction with the Parsifal Entertainment Group in select markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Read the story »
Marius Brok has been appointed director distribution partnerships at the Dutch based music channel Xite. Read the story »
Microsoft has announced that members of the Xbox One preview programme in the US and Canada can get over-the-air TV channels by purchasing the Hauppauge WinTV-955Q tuner. Read the story »
Non Stop People will launch a Spanish version of the channel on June 1, 2015. Read the story »
Russia’s leading DTH platform Tricolor TV has issued a report of its anti-piracy activities in 2014. Read the story »
HBO GO is now available to all RCS&RDS owned Digi Net and Digi TV customers in Romania that have an HBO or Maxpak subscription. Read the story »
Multi Channel Network 2btube has appointed three new members to its board of directors: Jesus Perezagua (Fox), Punit Goenka (Zee) and Sean Cohan (A+E Networks). Read the story »
Motive Television has released today TabletTV Europe (TTV Europe) following its approval by the Apple App store. Read the story »
Direct-to-consumer initiatives such as HBO Now and Sling TV herald a new era in online streaming as premium, stand-alone services based on content once exclusive to traditional pay TV hit the market. Read the story »
WATCH VIDEO. The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today are releasing The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. Read the story »
We knew the Battlebots TV show would crawl out of its early 2000s grave for another six episode run on ABC, and now the network has announced when. Sunday June 21st at 9PM, Battlebots will once again light up screens with robot vs. robot combat, now enhanced with the elimination of weight classes, the addition of onboard cameras and "a greater emphasis on the design and build elements of each robot." The competitions didn't actually stop once Comedy Central turned the TV lights out in 2002, so in a few months we should see how a decade or so of maker culture has advanced the sport -- as long as the producers' desire to add backstory doesn't get in the way. Hey, it can't be worse than Fuller House.
[Image credit: nerdabout/Flickr]
Yer a video game magnate, Harry.
BBC Films is working on Grand Theft Auto, a drama about the real-life founder of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser, and his battles over the perception of video game violence with bombastic, disbarred attorney Jack Thompson in the early 2000s. Thompson's role hasn't yet been cast, but Daniel Radcliffe, the actor best known for playing Harry Potter in all eight of those films, is in negotiations to play Houser, THR reports. Owen Harris, a British director responsible for a few episodes of Misfits and the season two premiere of Black Mirror, is on board for Grand Theft Auto. The script was penned by TV writer James Wood, with producer Jim Spencer and executive producer Mark Hedgecoe. It's scheduled to begin shooting on April 20 (no word on if it will be in 60FPS).
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Google announced YouTube's Music Key streaming subscription last fall, and an ad-free video service is also said to be on the way. Bloomberg reports the paid plan that nixes those pre-roll advertisements will launch before the end of the year, citing a source familiar with the project. The company sent a letter to YouTube partners today painting the broad strokes, including a mention of the upcoming paid tier and updated terms. "By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising service," the letter explains. Details are scarce at the moment, but we'll certainly hear more about things like pricing and offline playback in the weeks to come. The aforementioned Music Key service launched late last year, and there was a pilot program for paid channels in 2013, so the idea of paying for YouTube content isn't new. It also offers a Kids option, and there's likely a ton of folks who'd pay a (small) fee to skip those awful Progressive ads.
It's here -- HBO without cable or satellite. Since HBO Now is live, the network is taking the logical next step -- tracking down folks that said they'd love to pay for its content and asking them to put their money where their tweets are. Last week it was replying to tweets received years ago, and today the marketing campaign took another step by including Jake Caputo, the founder of takemymoneyHBO.com, and a couple of special guests from The Sopranos. HBO Now has its own limitations (you'll need Apple devices and/or Cablevision internet to sign up), but since it's here and the content is mirrored from HBO Go, are you ready to sign up -- or at least jump on the month-long free trial?