In this monthlyfeature, SNL Kagan provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top,video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.
* PCCW Ltd.'spay TV and over-the-top service provider Now TV has a content partnership withNetflix Inc., theHong Kong operator said in a March 17 release. Under the agreement, Now TV willmake Netflix content available via its set-top boxes and its recentlyintroduced all-in-one device Now One, beginning in the second quarter of 2016.Now TV users with a Netflix subscription will be able to watch original seriessuch as "Master of None," "Marvel's Daredevil," "Marvel'sJessica Jones" and "Orange is the New Black," as well asdocumentaries and feature films. PCCW unit PCCW Media operates Now TV.
Content and carriagedeals
* FremantleMediaLtd. unit FremantleMedia International has content distribution agreementswith three Asian subscription video-on-demand service providers, according toan April 5 news release. Southeast Asian over-the-top platform iflix acquiredthe rights to several drama, comedy, factual documentary and lifestyleprograms. Meanwhile, Thailand-based DOONEE and Taiwan secured SVOD rights topopular formats like "American Idol," "Britain's Got Talent"and "The X Factor UK." DOONEE also acquiredhomebuilding format "Grand Designs" and selected shows by celebritychef Jamie Oliver, while documentary series "Soundbreaking" andfashion reality show "Project Runway" will become part of iQiyiTaiwan's content portfolio. FremantleMedia is a unit of Luxembourg'sRTL Group.
* Chinese over-the-top platform LeEco may soon in Russia, Broadband TVNews reported April 5, citing Kommersant.Victor Xu and Alex Vassiliev, both holding senior posts at Chinese onlineretailer JD.com, will likely lead LeEco's Russian operations. LeEco, regardedas Netflix's Chinese counterpart, was known as until January. It is alsoavailable to users in the U.S. and India.
* India's Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. has introducedon March 29 its advertising-led video-on-demand platform named Voot. Users ofthe service will be able to watch original content front-lined by local actors,scriptwriters and directors. Viacom 18 will also make its channels such asColors, MTV and Nick available on Voot. Further, audiences can watchreality-themed shows exclusive to the platform through its "content aroundcontent" category. Voot is accessible online and via mobile devicesrunning on Apple Inc.'siOS and Alphabet Inc.-ownedGoogle Inc.'sAndroid. Viacom 18 is a joint venture between and India's .
* Over-the-top platform iflix is set to in Pakistan, Mumbrella reportedMarch 28. The Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service named Farees Shah generalmanager of its Pakistani unit. Iflix is also expected to launch in developingcountries such as Costa Rica, Kenya and Myanmar in the latter part of 2016.Iflix is already available in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines andIndonesia. Its rival Netflix earlier debuted in Pakistan and 129 othercountries.
* Malaysian operator Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. has an over-the-top service namedTribe in Indonesia, according to a March 18 release. Tribe users will be ableto access both live and on-demand content, including sports events from21st Century Fox Inc.'sFOX Sports, Korean shows from TurnerBroadcasting System Inc.'s Oh!K channel, K-pop music from ChannelM, as well as Asian and Indonesian movies. Tribe CEO Iskandar Samad said thatAstro will gradually add more features to the OTT platform, such aspersonalized search, download-to-go and social media integration. He added thatTribe will be launched in other countries within 2016. Astro introduced Tribevia a partnership with AxiataGroup Bhd. unit Axiata Digital Services. owns Turner.
* IMAX Corp.and its IMAX China Holding Inc. has strucka 10-theater deal with Shanghai Aurora Movie Co. Ltd. in China, the company saidApril 13. Under the agreement, eight of the theaters will be added to IMAX'snew construction projects across China. The locations of the other two theatersare yet to be determined.
* IMAX has also signeda theater agreement with AEON Entertainment Co. Ltd. in Japan, according to anApril 7 news release. As part of the deal, an IMAX theater will be located atthe AEON Cinema multiplex at the AEON Mall Odaka in Nagoya, Japan.
* Earlier, IMAX inkeda five-theater deal with INOX Leisure Ltd. in India, according to an April 5news release. The theaters will be added to existing INOX multiplexes in thecities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata. The agreement represents thelargest theater deal for IMAX in India and brings the total number of IMAXtheaters in the country to 20, with nine currently open and 11 contracted toopen. INOX has 107 multiplexes and 420 screens spread across 57 cities and 19states in India.
* UAE-based pay TV operator has six new Filipino channelsto its OSN Pinoy package, Telecompaper reported March 31. The OSN Pinoy packageincludes GMA Network Inc.'s GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TVInternational, along with Viva Entertainment's Pinoy Box Office and 's LifestyleNetwork and CineMo. OSN subscribers will also be able to stream PBO, LifestyleNetwork and CineMo via OSN Play, along with various GMA programs. Further, OSNis offering its OSN Pinoy Plus Extra package that contains all 15 Filipinochannels and 42 western channels.