Future of TV
Amazon Prime Video is eyeing reality shows to drive online viewership in India. This follows the success of its original series Inside Edge based on the game of cricket this summer.
Amazon have announced three unscripted original Amazon shows: Jestination Unknown, a six-episode travelling comedy show with standup comedian Vir Das, Comic Kaun, a 10-episode nationwide hunt to find India’s next big comic sensation, and The Remix, a 10-episode music competition show. These shows are expected on the service early next year.
It's interesting that this announcement comes after Netflix commissioned two more original series for India: Selection Day, a story of cricket and corruption, and Again, a female-led detective series. Amazon Prime have also responded to Netflix's wildly popular Black Mirror with their own take on the genre. A series based on Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams will soon be available on the service.
Live sports is a key reason for TV viewers to subscribe to expensive cable packages. Rights deals are lucrative for sports bodies and advertisers alike. With new market entrants like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter getting involved in the bidding process, this is likely to be a hot area for some time to come.
Fresh from its (not yet complete) merger with Tribune Media, Sinclair Broadcast Group is increasing its reach by launching Stadium, a sports channel with an initial focus on live college events.
Using its 70 sports desks across the U.S., Sinclair will have a national sports network that’s also context rich at local level. In our view, this currently sets it apart from competing social networks.
The channel will be available to sports fans for free on TV in 59 markets via digital subchannels (a number that could increase dramatically if Sinclair’s merger with Tribune goes through) online via Twitter, Pluto TV and a standalone website; and through apps on virtually every device imaginable.
Interviewed at the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival, Discovery Channel president Rick Ross
believes Discovery is in 'hand to hand combat' with Netflix. Ross has strong views on Netflix, and the binge watching trend it has fostered among its user base.
In his view, releasing entire seasons at once means many viewers are starting to run out of the content they value most highly. From a financial standpoint he argues that there are large risks in making huge investments in shows only to have them 'binged away'. While the ability to 'binge' view content appeals to some viewers, Ross argues not all viewers want to watch content like this.
With that in mind Discovery are thinking of new ways to engage viewers outside 'binge' viewing by branching out into non traditional TV models. Discovery will air Racing Extinction, a film that draws attention to mankind’s role in the potential loss of at least half the world’s species, in 220 countries and territories around the world in prime time in one day. This means Discovery will break with convention and starting with New Zealand to follow the time zones in order.