Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Netflix criticised for pulling comedy show
Critics have hit out at Netflix after the SVoD service dropped an episode of a comedy show following complaints by Saudi Arabia, according to the Guardian. In the episode of Patriot Act, American comedian Hasan Minhaj mocked the Saudi government’s account of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Netflix defended its decision, which it said was required to comply with local law. Human Rights Watch said the move undermined Netflix’s claim to support artistic freedom.
Susanna Dinnage shuns Premier League
Discovery exec Susanna Dinnage has decided not to take up her role as CEO of the English Premier League, writes Advanced Television. Dinnage, who is global president of Animal Planet, had been announced as the incoming CEO at the end of 2018. BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie is now among a group of BBC and ITV execs tipped for the role , according to C21 Media.
SK Telecom’s 5G broadcast
Korean telco SK Telecom used its 5G network to stream an 11 minute broadcast on New Year’s Day, according to Venture Beat. The coverage was captured by smartphones equipped with the firm’s T Live Caster app for broadcast on entertainment channel XtvN with latency comparable to a fixed connection, it reported.
Yankees set to bid for Disney’s Yes Network
Baseball team the New York Yankees is reportedly holding talks with Amazon and Sinclair Broadcast Group about a joint bid for regional US sports network Yes, which is 80% owned by Walt Disney Co. The Yankees has a 20% stake in the business. According to Reuters, Disney is seeking a valuation of up to $6bn.
Iflix sells African service to Econet Global
Malaysia-headquartered SVoD service iflix has sold its African service Kwesé iflix to telco Econet Global, which already had a “significant stake” in the business, according to C21 Media. Having entered sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, Iflix partnered with Econet in February to expand to East and Southern Africa.
Netflix drops iTunes billing
New Netflix customers will no longer be able to subscribe via iTunes. Instead, they will have to deal directly with Netflix. According to Broadband TV News, the decision will avoid payment of a 30% commission to Apple and follows the same move in May for Google Play Store.
Atomos floats on Australian Stock Exchange
Monitor-recorder manufacturer Atomos has listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The IPO (initial public offering) raised $6m, giving the firm a market capitalisation of $62.2m, according to Broadcast Pro Middle East.