The Program Guide highlights notable programming announcements and upcoming original debuts from online video platforms around the world.
* The Walt Disney Co.-owned streaming service Disney+ went live in the U.K. on March 24. However, some users experienced issues with the service. The glitches came as Disney reduced Disney+'s bandwidth use by at least 25% upon its launch in Britain, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
* AT&T Inc. rolled out subscription streaming service DIRECTV GO in Mexico. The platform offers a basic tier that comes with additional HBO Premium programming for 12 months. Users will be able to add the FOX Premium and HBO packages for an extra fee after the promotion period.
* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. pinned a pay-per-view deal in the U.S. for WrestleMania and a multiyear contract extension in India. Fox Corp.'s FOX Sports will make WrestleMania 36 on April 4 and 5 available for pay-per-view purchase. In India, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. reached a five-year deal that expands its relationship with WWE, including weekly series "Raw," "SmackDown" and "NXT," as well as localized content in that nation and the Indian subcontinent.
* "Killing Eve," starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, will return for its third season two weeks ahead of schedule on April 12. All eight new episodes will be simulcast on BBC America (US) and AMC (US). The series is based on the "Codename Villanelle" novellas by Luke Jennings.
* Altice USA Inc. is offering free access to live and on-demand programming from several networks to its residential Optimum and Suddenlink video customers through April 22 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
* DISH Network Corp.-owned streaming TV service Sling TV LLC is offering new subscribers free access to its Sling Blue service through April 5. Sling Blue offers over 45 live channels, free cloud DVR, over 50,000 on-demand titles and allows simultaneous viewing on three screens.
* Netflix Inc. ordered 40 episodes of animated series "Angry Birds: Summer Madness." The 11-minute episode series, which is set to launch globally in 2021, will be produced by Angry Birds video game developer Rovio and production company CAKE.
* T-Mobile US Inc. teamed up with Google LLC's YouTube to offer two months of free YouTube Premium through the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Customers can watch videos ad-free, download videos for offline viewing and play videos in the background while using other apps.
* Hulu LLC launched its streaming service on Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity Flex platform. Flex customers can sign up or log into Hulu to gain access to originals, classic TV series and current FX (US) series.
Europe, Middle East and Africa
* Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. rolled out a new film and subscription video service in South Africa, Broadband TV News reported March 27. The offer will be available on Vodacom Group Ltd.'s Video Play premium service, as well as through a stand-alone, a la carte subscription package called Micro Pass.
* Nordic Entertainment Group AB launched its streaming service Viaplay in Iceland. NENT also acquired exclusive Icelandic media rights to sports events such as Formula 1, Major League Baseball and Danish Superliga.
* SPI International Inc./FilmBox agreed to bring FilmBox On Demand's content to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s Huawei Video platform in 23 countries, including the U.K., Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Turkey and Russia.
* YouTube began lowering video quality globally to help ease internet traffic as people stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported March 24, citing a statement.
* Facebook Inc. and its unit Instagram LLC temporarily lowered video streaming quality in Europe to help avoid network congestion in the region amid the coronavirus pandemic, Engadget reported, citing a statement. Apple did the same for European users of its streaming platform Apple TV+, according to 9to5mac.
* Rakuten Inc.'s video-on-demand platform Rakuten TV will offer over 150 movies at no extra cost across Europe, ATV Today reported March 23.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Prime Video will slow down the speed of its streams in Europe to help broadband networks manage a surge in usage amid the coronavirus outbreak. The streaming platform will maintain the quality of its service despite the reduced streaming transmission rate.
* Times Internet Ltd.-owned ad-supported video-on-demand service MX Player launched in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Nepal. MX Player will offer about 10,000 hours of licensed video content from creators and partner platforms.
* Eros Now, a South Asian entertainment platform owned by Eros International PLC, has partnered with NBCUniversal LLC to launch a new stand-alone English content offering called Eros Now Prime. As part of the multiyear deal, Eros Now subscribers in South Asia will have access to various NBCUniversal series.
* Huawei inked a content deal with BBC Studios Ltd. to run British TV content on Huawei's consumer mobile devices in 26 countries, Variety reports. Under the deal, Huawei's smartphone, tablet and other connected-device users will be able to stream about 300 hours of drama, comedy and factual shows.
* PCCW Media Ltd's pan-regional streaming service, Viu, struck a deal to air drama and lifestyle content from Singapore-based broadcaster MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. Under the agreement, more than 600 hours of curated Mediacorp content will be available to Viu customers across Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
"Time to Hunt"
* Korean film "Time to Hunt" will be premiered globally on Netflix on April 10, the streaming platform confirmed. Written and directed by Yoon Sung-hyun, the movie revolves around four friends being hunted by an unknown man.
* In other Netflix news, Korean drama "The King: Eternal Monarch" will premiere exclusively on Netflix outside Korea in April. The romantic fantasy drama is directed by Baek Sang-hoon and Jeong Jee-hyun.
* Netflix also confirmed that Korean romance drama "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" will premiere exclusively on Netflix outside Korea in June. Studio Dragon is producing the drama, which is written by Jo Yong and directed by Park Shin-woo.
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