9-13 Dec: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Digital digest index

Amazon wins UEFA Champions League in Germany
Amazon has secured the exclusive German rights to a package of Champions League matches, picking up 16 matches a season, giving it the top pick for Tuesday night fixtures, in the group and knockout stages for three seasons from 2021-22.

According to a report by Forbes, in Germany, the Champions League rights are held by Sky Deutschland, which sub-licenses a package to the sports streaming service DAZN. The auction for the lion’s share of the rights, including the final, which is being offered to bidders separately, is ongoing this week.

The news follows its Prime Video coverage of the English Premier League matches last week. 

Comcast to invest $2bn on Peackcock streaming service 
Comcast is expected to spend an aggregate sum of $2 billion on NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service over the course of 2020 and 2021, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company is set to launch the subscription service in April next year and is projecting it will not be profitable for the first five years, according to CFO Mike Cavanagh.

Cavanagh said Comcast believes there is a need for additional advertising-supported services as the market becomes saturated with more subscription-based streaming services on top of traditional pay-TV. It is planning that will Peacock rely heavily on advertising than on subscriptions.

Netflix to invest $400M in Indian content
Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit in capital New Delhi, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings said the streaming giant has big plans for India and will spend $400 million on Indian content for 2019 and 2020, covering both originals and licensed content.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Hastings said some of the Indian content on the platform is finding wider acceptance beyond India, among its global audience of nearly 160 million subscribers as of the end of September. He cited the Indian animated children’s show Mighty Little Bheem, which he said has been viewed by 27 million households outside of India.

Apple, Amazon, Disney and Viacom are all investing in India, Hastings added: “The next five to 10 years will be the golden age of television. You are seeing unbelievable and unrivalled levels of investment.”

Digital studio startup Watcher Entertainment launched by ex-BuzzFeed execs 
The creators and hosts of three of BuzzFeed’s biggest shows — Steven Lim, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej — have formed their own digital-video venture.

The trio have launched Watcher Entertainment which Variety reported as ”producing very BuzzFeed-y original unscripted content”, which they plan to launch in January 2020 initially on YouTube.

It will debut seven new series and a weekly interactive talk show next year, spanning food, travel, horror, and other topics.

“Luckily we have very supportive fanbases who keep an eye on the stuff we do,” said Madej. “Hopefully a lot of them will be excited about this new venture.”

Netflix’s The Irishman hits 26m streams in the first week
Martin Scorsese’s mob movie was streamed by more than 26 million accounts worldwide, securing 13.2 million views in its first five days in the US alone according to a report from the ratings agency Nielsen.