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Anime-streaming platform eyes IPO; Alibaba scores China rights to Pac-12 content


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Anime-streaming platform eyes IPO; Alibaba scores China rights to Pac-12 content

In this biweekly Asia video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

Top news

* Bilibili, the leading Chinese platform for streaming Japanese anime, is planning to list its shares in the New York Stock Exchange, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 10, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The IPO, which could come as early as next year, seeks to raise at least $200 million. The size and timing of any offering could change, according to the report.

* Pac-12 Conference tapped Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to distribute Pac-12 Networks sports content via the tech giant's linear and digital channels, as part of an expanded partnership. Under the deal, Alibaba will bring 175 live U.S. university sports events and 100 hours of original content to audiences in mainland China every year, beginning in the fall until 2024, Pac-12 said Oct. 5. The content will be streamed through Alibaba's platforms such as over-the-top service Youku Tudou Inc.

* The National Basketball Association Inc. said Oct. 10 that it is teaming up with Rakuten Inc., making the e-commerce giant its official distributor for all live NBA games in Japan. The multiyear deal allows Rakuten members to access all NBA games, in addition to other exclusive programming through the NBA League Pass service, a premium subscription service. Rakuten will also offer a subscription package for its video-on-demand service Rakuten TV.

Content and carriage deals

* Vodafone India said Oct. 11 that it is teaming up with over-the-top streaming service YuppTV to add more than 250 live TV channels of South Asian content on its entertainment app Vodafone Play.

* India's Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd. is also partnering with YuppTV to provide its high-speed fiber broadband customers with a subscription to YuppTV as part of their monthly plans, Television Post reported Oct. 11.

* Hong Kong's Celestial Tiger Entertainment scored exclusive pay-TV rights to Chinese action blockbuster "Wolf Warriors 2" across multiple Asian territories, Variety reported Oct. 8. The deal covers Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, and also covers pay-per-view, video-on-demand and over-the-top rights for CTE channels Celestial Movies and cHK.

* China's UYoung and the UK's Sixteen South are partnering to produce children's programs for the international market, World Screen reported Oct. 10. UYoung also secured China broadcast rights to Sixteen South's animated series "Lily's Driftwood Bay," wherein the second season has been sold to iQiyi, Youku and Tencent.

Service launches

* Iflix on Oct. 12 announced it has expanded its reach to Nepal, where it has entered into an exclusive partnership with local telco Ncell.

* Channel 4 (UK)-backed streaming service Walter Presents is launching in Australia next month through a partnership with FOXTEL, Variety reported Oct 11.

* Pantaflix AG on Oct. 9 launched a Chinese version of its video-on-demand platform as part of a global expansion.

Other news

* Big Synergy, the Indian production company allied with Reliance MediaWorks Ltd. and Phantom Films, is planning to release up to seven web shows in 2018 for digital platforms such as ALTBalaji, Netflix Inc., Inc.'s Prime Video, Vuclip, Applause Entertainment and Voot, Television Post reported Oct. 12.

* Baidu Inc. terminated its video service Da Dao Yan after closing Liu Lian in May, Xueqiu reported Oct. 10. The app is nowhere to be found on Apple Inc.'s app store, and users can no longer log in and upload any self-made videos on the website.

* Eros International is allocating up to US$225 million to develop content in fiscal year 2018, wherein 70% will be spent on its film business, while the remaining 30% will be used to improve its over-the-top service Eros Now, Television Post reported Oct. 9.

* Chinese live streaming site Inke TV will invest 1 billion Chinese yuan to build a platform for professionally generated content, Tencent News reported Sept 28. Vice President Ding Laibin said the company will set up targeted funds for live streaming content creation.

* Chinese online audio content platform Qingting FM finished a 1 billion Chinese yuan funding round led by We Capital and Baidu Inc., Sohu reported Sept. 28. We Capital will also support content development with Qingting FM.