The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to OTT initiatives from various networks and platforms.
* Amazon.com Inc. struck a long-term agreement with Indian media company Only Much Louder to bring 14 original stand-up comedy specials to its Prime Video service, NDTV reported Jan. 19. Each of the one-hour specials will feature a different Indian comedian, and will be shot at venues across India in the first half of the year. The comedy specials will become available globally on Prime Video by May, with two to three of them released every month, according to the report.
* The FCC is satisfied with the steps Comcast Corp. took "to authenticate its subscribers for access to the HBO Go and WatchESPN TV Everywhere services on PlayStation devices," Multichannel News reported Jan. 19, citing a letter Travis LeBlanc, FCC Enforcement Bureau chief, sent to Comcast. The regulatory body received complaints regarding the unavailability of HBO Go on the Sony Corp. devices through Comcast, with some complaints citing a violation of net neutrality.
In other platform news
* Amazon Studios placed a limited comedy series order for "Good Omens." The six-part series, which will stream on Prime Video in 2018, will be based on Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel of the same name, the company said Jan. 19.
* Along with Hulu LLC's upcoming launch of it streaming service, the company will also add a download functionality for its content "in a few months." The OTT service provider is working on securing the licenses and technologies needed for the MVPD service that will allow for subscribers' offline consumption, Multichannel News reported Jan. 18. The company is also set to offer a cloud-based DVR.
* In more Amazon.com news, Amazon Studios acquired a four-hour documentary about music band Grateful Dead from director Amir Bar-Lev and executive producer Martin Scorsese. "Long Strange Trip" will debut May 26 as a six-part documentary on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. and the U.S., with Amazon to add more territories, the company said Jan. 18.
* Amazon.com's Prime Video service in India acquired more than 100 hours of children's entertainment content from Zodiak Kids, according to a Jan. 17 announcement. Amazon India obtained all four seasons of the popular children's animated series "Horrid Henry," as well as other animation titles produced by Zodiak Kids Studios, including "Extreme Football," "Street Football" and "Sally Bollywood." The shows are slated to launch on Amazon Prime Video in India early this year.
* Netflix Inc. entered into an exclusive partnership with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the company said Jan. 17. Netflix will stream 24 new episodes of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," in addition to two new stand-up shows, and scripted and non-scripted comedy programming. The new episodes of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" will be streamed in installments, starting in 2017, with more to be added to the platform in 2018. The company will also stream the previous 59 episodes of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Netflix will disclose "additional elements of the deal" at a later date.