Traditional Broadcasters Near & Far Building Digital Strategies

-Acorn TV Originals Rolling Out Across Various Platforms

– E! Originals Every Weeknight on Facebook Live

– Comcast Adding Originals to OTT Video Service

In the early days of digital video and SVoD the prospect of delivering video content like films and TV series on a platform other than linear TV was considered a competitor to the pay TV industry. But today the industry sings different tunes and we have not stopped seeing the trend of traditional broadcasters and digital video platforms working together to create and distribute new content.

Traditional broadcasters and digital video platforms are finding that joining forces in order to divide and conquer the video market is a much more attainable feat than going for all of the eyeballs solo. Traditional TV is not dead, people are still tuning in to linear TV to consume content but digital is taking a share of viewers as well. Digital platforms want to deliver content that is native to traditional TV as a draw for new users and by offering traditional programming over digital platforms content owners are able to expand the reach of their content and gain revenue from streaming rights deals.

Just this month RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV premiered its first original series, “Agatha Raisin” and now the development arm for the brand, Acorn Media Enterprises has announced that that it has teamed up with Blinder Films, DCD Rights and Irish broadcaster RTE to co-produce a new series, “Striking Out”.

The series is an Irish legal drama and will be a four-part series, but how consumers will be able to watch the show when the premiere comes around depends on what market they are in. Early next year the series will premiere on RTE to its broadcast markets but in the US the premiere will be on Acorn TV, the niche SVoD streaming service that delivers British content to US audiences. Distributor DCD Rights will sell rights to the series to other countries.

The addition of “Striking Out” is cohesive with Acorn’s “rapidly growing” slate of co-productions that are gaining a significant role in the company’s overall strategy, according to Acorn Media Enterprises managing director Shane Murphy. And Acorn TV teamed up with BBC One to co-produce an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “The Witness  for the Prosecution”, which will premiere in the UK on BBC linear channels before debuting to US viewers exclusively on Acorn TV. And it has co-produced other programs with BBC mystery in the past including another adaptation series “Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime”.

In the US, the NBCUniversal-owned broadcast channel E! is popular for its pop culture news coverage and over the past year and a half it has been doubling-down on its digital strategy by transitioning some of its news coverage to the Facebook Live platform. E! is planning to air a different live original program every weeknight on the network’s Facebook page. A few of those titles include “Live From E!”, “E! News Now” and “TV Therapy”.

E! Network is building up its digital strategy as a way of connecting with audiences where they spend the most time, which is not in front of a TV screen. So partnering with Facebook to deliver live original content and dispensing programming and entertainment news across social media and delivering mobile-first video and on demand programming to mobile and connected devices gives fans of the network more freedom to access content across more platforms. And E! Network benefits by providing live content for Facebook Live since the platform is paying content creators to live stream on Facebook and that content can be tailored for other platforms such as YouTube or Periscope.

Comcast has taken a different approach by developing its own ad-supported multi-platform video service dubbed Watchable…

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