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The Week in OTT: Apple TV+ shows' premiere dates; NBCU streaming plans

The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to streaming initiatives in the U.S. from various networks and platforms.

Top News

* Apple Inc. revealed the premiere dates for a number of its upcoming Apple TV+ shows. "Amazing Stories," a reimagining of the original anthology series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, will debut March 6, while new documentary series "Home" is set to premiere April 17 on Apple TV+. "Trying," Apple's first original series from the U.K., will premiere May 1 around the world. Animated musical comedy "Central Park" will debut in early summer, and new docuseries "Dear" will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on June 5.

Mystery series "Home Before Dark" and character-driven thriller "Defending Jacob" are set to debut April 3 and April 24, respectively. "Home Before Dark," a dramatic mystery series inspired by the reporting of young investigative journalist Hilde Lysiak has been renewed for a second season. "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" was also renewed for a second season ahead of its Feb. 7 global premiere.

In addition, the iPhone-maker signed Julia Louis-Dreyfus for an overall deal with Apple TV+. Under the multiyear agreement, Louis-Dreyfus will develop new projects exclusively for Apple TV+ as both an executive producer and star. The deal marks her first-ever overall deal with a streaming service.

* NBCUniversal Media LLC expects its streaming service Peacock to break even by 2024. Peacock, launching on parent Comcast Corp.'s platforms April 15 and nationwide July 15, will generate $2.5 billion in revenue by 2024, Matt Strauss, chairman of the service and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, told investors.

In other platform news

* Netflix Inc. picked up rights to 21 films from Studio Ghibli. Starting Feb, 1, Netflix will add the movies from the Japanese art-house studio to its lineup globally, excluding the U.S., Canada and Japan, through distribution partner Wild Bunch International.

* FloSports Inc., a digital sports platform, will stream more than 300 days of racing during 2020, Broadcasting & Cable reported Jan. 21. The coverage will include the exclusive presentation of the Tour de France in Canada.

* Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s free, ad-supported streaming service, STIRR, announced plans to launch a new channel dedicated to live 2020 election events. The new 2020 LIVE channel will debut the week of Jan. 20 and offer a continuous stream of live election coverage, including live access to daily campaign event feeds from across the U.S.

* Hulu LLC acquired rights to a straight-to-series comedy starring actors and comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short, reported Jan. 17, citing an announcement at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. The yet-to-be-titled series involves three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one.

* Cincinnati Bell Inc. struck a partnership to offer YouTube LLC's livestreaming service YouTube TV. The U.S. regional operator and its unit Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. will provide YouTube TV to their fiber internet subscribers in the Greater Cincinnati area and Hawaii, respectively.

* ViacomCBS Inc.-owned CBS All Access and Showtime OTT have reached 10 million combined subscribers, ViacomCBS Chief Digital Officer and CBS Interactive CEO Marc DeBevoise said at an event. According to DeBevoise, the number of subscribers has reportedly been increasing by 60% year over year.

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