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The week in OTT: 'Iron Fist' ends Netflix run; Apple plans digital video service

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.

* Netflix Inc. acquired global rights to Hebrew-language series "When Heroes Fly" from Keshet International Ltd., screendaily.com reported Oct. 15. All 10 episodes of the drama series will become available with subtitles to Netflix subscribers around the world in early 2019.

* Marvel's "Iron Fist" will not return for a third season on Netflix, Variety reported Oct. 12, citing a joint statement from the streaming giant and Marvel Television. The second season of the series premiered on Netflix in September.

* Hulu LLC placed a straight-to-series order for drama series "Wu-Tang: An American Saga." The 10-episode series created and written by Alex Tse and Wu-Tang Clan front man The RZA will give a glimpse into the world of hip-hop group, called the Wu-Tang clan, the company said Oct. 11.

* Netflix struck a multiyear movie deal with management and production company Sugar23. The deal will allow the streaming giant to get a first look at any feature film that Sugar23 wants to produce, the company said Oct. 11.

* In more Netflix news, the company picked up ice skating drama series "Spinning Out." The series stars Emma Roberts as an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who is about to turn in her skates after a disastrous fall took her off the competition track, the company said Oct. 11.

* Apple Inc. is planning to introduce a new digital video service that will offer free original content via a pre-installed "TV" application on its devices, CNBC reported Oct. 10, citing sources. The app, which Apple plans to launch in early 2019 for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, will also allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO (US) and Starz (US).

* AT&T Inc. will launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019. AT&T said in an Oct. 10 SEC filing that the new streaming service will feature unit WarnerMedia's collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation.

* Snap Inc. unveiled a slate of new original shows for Snapchat, including exclusive scripted shows and docuseries. Snapchat users will be able to access the new shows, called "Snap Originals," on the Discover page globally, or by searching for the title using Snapchat's Search feature. Also, Snap said Oct. 10 that Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC extended its content production commitments through 2019, and Viacom Inc. has committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals.

* Xumo LLC struck a deal to add Cinedigm Corp.'s digital-first channels CONtv, Dove Channel and Docurama to its free streaming television service. CONtv is available on the service, while the other two will launch in November, according to an Oct. 9 news release.

* Netflix secured rights to a new family action adventure film, currently titled "John Henry and The Statesmen." The film will be directed by Jake Kasdan and actor Dwayne Johnson, who will also serve as a producer on the film in addition to starring as John Henry, the company said Oct. 9.

* Netflix will premiere six original productions from Colombia throughout 2018 and 2019. The lineup includes "Historia de un crimen: Colmenares," two new stand-up comedy specials from Liss Pereira and Ricardo Quevedo, "Wild District" and "Always a Witch," the company said Oct. 9. The new titles join a slate of more than 70 original productions being filmed across Latin America.

* Netflix will stream original series "Selection Day" globally on Dec. 28. Based on Aravind Adiga's novel of the same name, the series is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players in India, the company said Oct. 9.

* Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new global game-streaming technology, Project xCloud, which will let users play console and Windows PC games on mobile devices and tablets. "Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies — entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen," Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of gaming cloud at Microsoft, said in an official Oct. 8 blog post. Developers of the more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One, and those developing new games, will be able to offer access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.

* Netflix will adapt British unscripted series "The Circle" with three local versions featuring players from three different countries, including the U.S. The social media competition series was created by All3Media Ltd.'s Studio Lambert and recently co-produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group for the U.K.'s Channel 4, the company said Oct. 8.

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