Extra: Netflix Q1 report, E! orders “Total Divas” spin-off

In today's 'Extra' wrap, digital streaming giant Netflix (pictured) releases its first quarter earnings report, while E! Entertainment greenlights a Total Divas spin-off and D Films takes the Canadian rights to the forthcoming Oasis doc.
April 19, 2016

Netflix global subscriptions hit 81.5 million

Netflix has released its latest quarterly results, showing renewed strength in its ability to hit major revenue and subscriber growth targets after falling short on some of those key metrics last year. The SVOD giant rang in US$1.8 billion in global revenue in Q1 2016 and added 6.74 million subscribers worldwide, bringing its total subscriber base to 81.5 million, slightly ahead of previously projected targets. Of the total subscribers, 42% are now outside of the U.S., the service confirmed in a letter to shareholders released on Monday (April 18).

The letter attributes the service’s positive performance to both its aggressive international expansion plan and a surge of sign-ups linked to the premieres of popular new originals such as Making a Murderer and the fourth season of House of Cards.

Its international operations, as predicted in Q4 2015, were a loss for the company, which rolled out operations in an additional 130 countries worldwide over the past quarter. Despite $652 million in international revenue, Netflix posted a loss of $104 million for its non-U.S. services.

Netflix’s domestic subscription numbers performed better than expected in Q1. It added 2.23 million new members, up from a forecast rate of 1.75 million. However, overall growth in the U.S. has slowed over the past two years: In Q1 2015, the SVOD added 2.28 million new subscribers, and 2.25 million in Q1 2014. In all, the SVOD now has nearly 47 million subscribers in the U.S.

In its Q1 shareletter letter, Netflix confirmed it “hopes to maintain” the $7.99 price.  However, on its website, the SVOD indicates the $7.99 rate will only buy a single stream and no longer support HD and UHD content. (From StreamDaily)

E! expands on “Total Divas” franchise

NBCUniversal-owned cable net E! Entertainment has greenlit a 6 x 60-minute spin-off series for one of the channel’s most-watched franchises. Total Bellas, produced by Bunim/Murray Productions in association with the WWE, will detail the lives of wrestling superstars Nikki and Brie Bella as well as their significant others John Cena and Daniel Bryan as they begin the next chapter of their professional and personal lives under one roof. The series will also follow Nikki’s rehabilitation following surgery on her neck and spine.

The Bella twins will also continue to appear in Total Divas, which is slated to return for its sixth season this fall. The forthcoming series will introduce viewers to an additional cast of WWE wrestlers, including Lana and Maryse, as well as announcer Renee Young. Bunim/Murray Productions’ Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay serve as executive producers on both series alongside the WWE’s Kevin Dunn.

D Films lands Canadian rights to upcoming Oasis film

Canadian indie distributor D Films has acquired the exclusive Canadian rights to all media for Mat Whitecross’ forthcoming, as-yet-untitled documentary on British pop-rock group Oasis. The film, which is currently in post-production, was exec produced by Amy‘s Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees.

The film will track the genesis of Oasis in the early ’90s, when Noel Gallagher first joined brother Liam’s band and in less than three years released the chart-topping debut album Definitely Maybe. The deal was negotiated between D Films’ Michael Robson and Independent Film Company’s Nada Cirjanic.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.