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The week in OTT: Netflix to bolster lineup; Fox targeting Europe, Africa

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The week in OTT: Netflix to bolster lineup; Fox targeting Europe, Africa

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.

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s Fox Networks Group is gearing up to introduce a National Geographic on-demand service in Europe and Africa in 2018, Variety reported Dec. 4, citing an interview with Jan Koeppen, head of Fox Networks Group Europe and Africa. National Geographic+ will be available on telco Cell C's Black service in South Africa, OTE's Cosmote offering in Greece, and the YouSee pay TV platform in Denmark in 2018.

* Netflix Inc. renewed "Stranger Things" for a third season, the company said Dec. 1. The series is based in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind., where a secret government lab accidentally opens a door to another dimension referred to as the "Upside Down."

* Netflix also placed a 20-episode order for an untitled "Sabrina" series based on the Archie comics graphic novel "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," the company said Dec. 1. The drama series will follow Sabrina as she struggles to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against evil forces.

* In more Netflix news, the streaming giant ended its "Haters Back Off" scripted series after two seasons, Variety reported Dec. 1, citing a company confirmation.

* Netflix renewed crime drama series "Mindhunter" for a second season, the company said Nov. 30. Set in the 1970s, the series explores the early days of criminal psychology and profiling.

* Netflix will stream new series "A Korean Odyssey" on the streaming platform in late December. The series, which is inspired by the novel, "Journey to the West," features Lee Seung-Gi, Cha Seung-Won and Oh Yeon-Seo, the company said.

* DISH Network Corp.'s Sling TV on Nov. 30 unveiled "Centroamérica," a new regional channel package that includes networks from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Consumers can subscribe to the Centroamérica package for $10 per month on a stand-alone basis, or $5 per month when combined with Sling Orange, Sling Blue and/or any Spanish-language service from Sling TV, the company said. Sling TV recently added Mexican channel, Mexicanal, to its México package and channels Dominican View and Supercanal joined the Caribe package.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Youku struck a distribution deal with Netflix for a 32-episode detective drama series called "Day and Night." This is Youku's first online drama series from China that has been acquired for global distribution, the company said Nov. 30.

In other platform news

* Time Warner Inc.'s HBO Europe expanded its subscription video-on-demand HBO GO service to seven more Central European countries. The premium cable programmer's entire library of original series, films and documentaries are now available to consumers in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, according to a Nov. 29 news release.

* Netflix will premiere original series "Sex Education" on the streaming platform in 2019. The comedy drama series will begin production in the U.K. in spring 2018, the company said Nov. 28.

* Amazon.com Inc. will premiere original drama series "The Last Post" on Dec. 22, Multichannel News reported Nov. 27, citing a company statement. The series, which revolves around the lives of a unit of Royal Military Police officers and their families during the social and political unrest of the mid '60s, will feature six episodes.