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.
* Amazon.com Inc. further expanded its content offerings for Prime Video subscribers in India. The e-commerce giant partnered with C International Sales, the global arm of Mumbai-based boutique studio Cinestaan Film Company, to add three Indian independent films to its streaming service, according to a Jan. 31 announcement. In addition, BBC Worldwide Ltd. said Jan. 23 that it had entered into an agreement with Amazon to acquire more than 600 hours of content from the British Broadcasting Corp. Amazon also struck a long-term agreement with new media company Only Much Louder for 14 original Indian stand-up comedy specials, NDTV reported Jan. 19. Finally, it acquired more than 100 hours of children's entertainment content from Banijay Group unit Zodiak Kids, it was announced Jan. 17.
* Ozflix, a streaming service devoted solely to Australian films, launched in Australia. Broadway World reported Jan. 19 that it would debut with a catalog of about 250 Australian films available on a pay-per-view basis, with 50% of each movie rental fee going to the distributor or filmmaker. There will also be three original shows that can be viewed at no charge, with more free content to be added.
Content and carriage deals
* Discovery Networks Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. commissioned 16 new locally produced shows in Southeast Asia, including "Worst Vacation Ever" and "Frontier Borneo," Variety reported Feb. 1. They will air on Discovery Communications Inc.'s TLC and Discovery Channel on linear and digital platforms.
* Over-the-top platform YuppTV, through a partnership with multiplatform company IndiaCast, will air several Viacom18 channels on its Canadian platform, Television Post reported Jan. 31. The channels include Aapka Colors, MTV India, Rishtey and Rishtey Cineplex.
* Amazon Japan announced Jan. 30 that it will begin streaming a new children's animated series, "Crayon Shin-chan: Lone Wolf and Family," starting Feb. 22 on Prime Video.
* Sony Pictures Television Inc. tapped Simplestream, a London-based OTT video provider, to drive its new catch-up service on the British TV platform YouView, according to a Jan. 23 news release. The Sony service will use Simplestream's Hybrid TV solution to host its children's channels.
* Philippine broadcaster TV5 on Jan. 22 struck a five-year deal with FIBA for exclusive broadcast rights to national team competitions as well as coverage of the Continental Cups and FIBA Basketball World Cup from 2017 to 2021. The partnership applies to all platforms such as free TV, pay TV, online and mobile.
* NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) will air the 10-episode drama "Hibana," based on the novel by Naoki Matayoshi, starting in February, The Nikkei reported Jan. 17. The Japanese series is an original production by Netflix Inc. that debuted for streaming in June 2016.
* An online shopping platform owned by Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group launched Bandott, an Android TV 6.0 digital set-top box integrated with video content services, DigiTimes reported Jan. 26. The box is currently only available in Taiwan and supports 4K video content from iQiyi, CatchPlay, Netflix and MyVideo. Foxconn was formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd.
* Indian multisystem operator DEN Networks Ltd. is close to launching an OTT service, Television Post reported Jan. 18. It will have around 130 live channels, 2,500 movie titles and 10,000 hours of video-on-demand content.
* South Korean IPTV service providers KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. stopped the mobile service for terrestrial broadcasters' VOD due to a delay in negotiating content fees, Yonhap News Agency reported Feb. 1. The broadcasters reportedly asked for double the fees, and the service stoppage will continue until negotiations are finalized.
* The National Copyright Administration of the People's Republic of China on Jan. 24 issued a notice prohibiting illegal broadcasts of China Central Television (CCTV)(CN)'s annual Spring Festival Gala variety show, calling it a popular and important cultural product. The administration added the show to a patent protection list and banned all forms of unauthorized transmission, including IPTV, OTT, blogs and microblogs.