Former Fox International boss Lopez launches Wondery » Digital TV Europe

Hernan Lopez

Hernan Lopez has launched Wondery, a new on-demand audio service with backing from Fox, the company he left earlier this week.

Lopez was the president of Fox International Channels until Fox shelved the FIC brand and reorganised its international activities earlier this week.

Today he announced the Wondery roll out and said Fox will be investing in the new service.

It will provide original scripted and factual audio programming that will be released as podcasts. Lopez has teamed with US tech company Art19 and will use its WarpFeed advertising customisation service.

Speaking about the new service, Lopez said: “Wondery gives me the ability tocombine many things I know and love—storytelling, network and brand building and technology—in the fastest growing segment of on-demand consumption.

He added: “Podcast consumption has grown more than 40% in just two years and is about to reach a tipping point. This is the perfect timing to capture this opportunity, using some of the best practices that have transformed television over the last ten years.”

The level of Fox investment was not broken out. Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice said: “Hernan has an exceptional understanding of the ways in which new technologies allow companies to build media brands on a global scale, and we look forward to his success with this new venture.”

Lopez left Fox after almost 20 years at the company amid its latest restructure. He had overseen the growth of the FIC channels in recent years, with the group, Fox said, now generating revenues of about US$3 billion.

Source: Former Fox International boss Lopez launches Wondery » Digital TV Europe

Before Rachel Bloom was a Golden Globe winner, she was a YouTube star

Rachel Bloom accepts the award for Best Actress – TV Series, Comedy or Musical for ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ during the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California LOS ANGELES — Rachel Bloom became the first YouTube star to win a Golden Globe on Sunday for her CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend .


The comedy, which debuted on The CW in October of 2015, follows a Manhattan lawyer named Rebecca Bunch (Bloom) who impulsively moves across the country to where her old camp boyfriend Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) lives after they have a chance encounter. (more…)

Numericable-SFR takes on Canal+ with competition watchdog » Digital TV Europe

Numericable-SFR has lodged a complaint against Canal+ with France’s competition regulator, the Autorité de la Concurrence, over the pay TV group’s distribution practices, according to French financial daily Les Echos.

facade_campus_sfr_maxime_dufour__photographies_3According to Les Echos , citing unnamed sources, the Altice-owned cable and telecom group has taken issue with Canal+’s agreements with distributors such as Orange and Free whereby the pay TV group maintains and direct relationship with the end customer and the telecom operators receive a commission.

Numericable-SFR has adopted a strategy of seeking exclusive content deals, such as its recent acquisition of English Premier League football , and is less willing than other French telcos to accept the role of passive redistributor of content. (more…)

BeIN Media in ‘biggest output deal’ with Italia Film International » Digital TV Europe

beIN-media-groupQatar-based pay TV provider BeIN Media Group has signed a five-year multi-million dollar output deal with Italia Film International, whereby beIN will acquire over 600 movie titles from studios including Disney.

Italia Film International is the exclusive distributor of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas Films movies in the Middle East, and also has exclusive distribution relationships with Dreamworks, Film Nation, The Weinstein Company, Arclight and Lotus Entertainment. The company has expanded its distribution business to Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh in recent years.

The deal with beIN, which it describes as the biggest output deal to date in the Middle East, covers movies including John Wick 2 with Keanu Reeves, Hologram for a King with Tom Hanks, Silent Wife with Nicole Kidman, Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, Unlocked with Michael Douglas, Noomi Rapace and Orlando Bloom and The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch.

“This is the most significant deal for Italia Films as it positions us as a major force across various content platforms. beIN is an ideal partner for Italia Films as beIN has proven to be a major force in pay TV industry in MENA. beIN’s entry into entertainment content will create value for it’s subscribers throughout this region. We are proud to be part of their aggressive expansion drive.” Said Giuseppe Vincenti, CEO & Partner, Italia Film International.

”beIN is committed to bringing the best family entertainment to it’s subscribers throughout MENA. This deal with Italia Film gives beIN access to leading Hollywood content. We are aware of Italia Film ability to secure very prominent Hollywood content assets and hence we are confident that through this deal we will be able to bring major Hollywood blockbusters exclusively to beIN subscribers,” said Yousef Al-Obaidly, deputy CEO of beIN Media Group.




Source: BeIN Media in ‘biggest output deal’ with Italia Film International » Digital TV Europe

“Cafés Parisiens” – New Documentary production

“Parisian Cafés”: Windows to the Soul of the City

by Azadeh Nafissi


French culture and especially French intellectual culture has always been linked to cafés. From the political groups meetings during the French Revolution to the high culture of the 19th century or from the cultural revival in the 20s and 30s to the French Resistance in WWII, cafés have always been the hub of French society as a place to meet, drink, discuss and relax. (Wood, Ben1)
My documentary focuses on the importance of cafés in the Parisian lifestyle and shows that we can learn about a city through its cafés. Parisians’ interest in cafés has remained intact throughout history and my film intends to capture the significance of places in the daily life of Parisian people.

Director’s statement

From the first time I came to Paris, I was enchanted by its liveliness. Little by little, I started realizing that its delightful cafés were one of the main reasons for this energetic atmosphere. The idea of making a documentary about this particularity of French culture was shaped, as a consequence of this new awareness.
So far, I have shot parts of the film in Les Deux Magots and interviewed some regular customers, foreign students, as well as the owner of the café.
I am planning to include several different cafés, from ancient cafés such as La Rotonde, le Café de Flore, Le Select, and le Café de la Paix to newer ones such as Culture Rapide and Au Petit Fer à Cheval, in order to rediscover the spirit of the city through its cafés. The next interviewees will be students, writers, artists, filmmakers, café owners and their staff. They will be asked why they think Parisian cafés are unique.
Through shots of cafés and the city, on-camera interviews and some archive footage, the true soul of Parisian cafés will be shown. The use of both static and hand held shots will enable the audience to go on a journey across Paris. The result of this shooting style is a cinematic look that enables the audience to feel every moment of the film as if they are walking into the same cafés and areas.


AzadehAs a Paris-based writer/filmmaker, Azadeh Nafissi grew up in Tehran, Iran. After finishing her BA in English Language and Literature, she traveled to Auckland, New Zealand and studied MA in English Literature and PGD in Communication Studies. Her passion for cinema drew her to Paris, France where she studied filmmaking. Apart from her films and scripts, she is a contributor to several magazines such as The Story Mint and The Culture Trip. Her first short story and serial appeared in The Story Mint in 2014.

What will the Fund-Raising be for?

Since this documentary will be made independently, we need to raise funds to pay for camera, sound equipment, music, editing software and also to be able to prepare nice meals for the crew and the interviewees.
Share this experience with us and show your love and support for Paris and French culture by helping this crowd funding campaign!

1Wood, Benjamin. « French Cafe Culture: A Microcosm of Society? », Peter Kirk Memorial Fund, 2009

Canal+ strikes exclusive deal with Disney for new services » Digital TV Europe

Canal+ Group and Disney have struck a deal that will see Canalsat become the exclusive distributor in France of Disney Junior, Disney XD and Disney Channel and new premium service Disney Cinema, Disney catch-up services and new educational on-demand service Disney English.

Canal+ said that the deal marked a new stage in its partnership with Disney. The pay broadcaster said that the agreement would strengthen its position in family viewing, with exclusive carriage of four channels that together represent a 42% share of the 4-14 audience.

The Disney English on-demand service will be included in Canalsat’s Panorama package, while new premium movie service Disney Cinema will be included in the Grand Panorama package.