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The Week in OTT: CBS All Access to reboot 3 classics; Hulu to debut sci-fi drama

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.

* ViacomCBS Inc.'s streaming service, CBS All Access, ordered reboots of three classic shows, "Mr. Magoo," "George of the Jungle" and "Lassie," Variety reported Jan. 12. New editions of these shows will all be available on the platform from Jan. 17.

* Hulu LLC's original teen sci-fi drama, "Utopia Falls," will premiere Feb. 14. The series, which will feature the voice of Snoop Dogg, will consist of 10 one-hour episodes. Set in the not-too-distant future, amid the charred ruins of Earth, the series follows a group of teens chosen to compete in an arts competition in the seemingly idyllic colony of New Babyl.

* For consumers, ViacomCBS' streaming service CBS All Access is typically a product added to traditional cable TV packages, so its recent renewed carriage agreement with Comcast Corp. is an important part of the platform's distribution strategy. The Comcast carriage deal, which will offer CBS All Access on Xfinity X1 and Flex boxes later in 2020, marks the first multichannel set-top box distribution agreement for the platform.

* Cinedigm Corp. teamed up with U.K.-based television production and distribution company All3media International Ltd to launch two new free ad-based video-on-demand services, "So…Dramatic" and "So…Real." Both networks will be available as ad-supported linear AVOD offerings, with both scheduled to begin rolling out in the first quarter of 2020.

* Discovery Inc. is looking to work with legacy distributors in delivering direct-to-consumer streaming content via their broadband pipes. Discovery CEO David Zaslav told investors at an industry conference that the content provider is having "meaningful discussions" with its existing affiliate base as it eyes more direct-to-consumer opportunities.

* Sports streaming proponent DAZN's consumption level almost doubled during 2019. According to initial usage numbers provided by the U.K.-based company, DAZN, now available in nine nations, streamed 507 million hours last year, a 98% rise from 256 million in 2018.

* BAFTA, or the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, revealed its 2020 film awards nominations, with Netflix Inc. receiving 23, including 10 for Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman." The crime epic is in the running for best picture alongside the most nominated film "Joker," Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," South Korea's "Parasite," and Golden Globes best picture winner "1917."

* Google LLC's YouTube video-sharing platform will premiere a documentary on the Coachella music festival on March 31, reported Jan. 7. Called "Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert," the documentary will include behind-the-scenes stories as well as exclusive footage and interviews, among other performances.

* Streaming service Tubi agreed to put its programming library, comprising of around 20,000 movies and TV shows, on Vidda, a new video platform being launched on Hisense smart TVs, Multichannel News reported Jan. 6. Hisense TV owners in the territories for which the ad-supported streaming platform has acquired programming rights, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K., will be able to access Tubi's collection of licensed content.

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