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Extra: RTL plans VOD service expansion; “Surviving R. Kelly” screening disrupted by gun threats

RTL Group plans new VOD platform Luxembourg-based digital media group RTL Group is developing a strategic plan that includes expanding its video-on-demand (VOD) services. The strategy includes significant investments in more local, ...
December 5, 2018

RTL Group plans new VOD platform

Luxembourg-based digital media group RTL Group is developing a strategic plan that includes expanding its video-on-demand (VOD) services.

The strategy includes significant investments in more local, exclusive content and in a joint VOD tech platform, as announced by RTL CEO Bert Habets (pictured) at the company’s Management Summit 2018 in Luxembourg.

The group will develop a platform for VOD services meant to host content from all of RTL’s broadcasters, with the intention that all existing streaming platforms from those broadcasters will migrate to the new platform.

RTL will elaborate on its VOD plans in the group’s 2018 full-year report, to be announced on March 14.

“With rapidly changing consumer behavior and the emergence of global tech giants our Total Video industry has moved from a local to a global competitive landscape,” said Habets, in a statement. “This is why we have started a comprehensive group-wide transformation journey. More than ever before, we will focus on fostering creativity, being close to our audiences, taking more risks and forging more cooperation within RTL Group.”

Lifetime postpones Surviving R. Kelly screening after anonymous threats

A+E Networks-owned women’s network Lifetime evacuated and subsequently postponed a New York screening of its upcoming docuseries Surviving R. Kelly after an anonymous caller made gun-related threats to the venue, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

The docuseries chronicles the many accusations leveled against musician R. Kelly over more than two decades, including holding women against their will in a “sex cult.”

The premiere event was attended by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign, cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux and accusers of Kelly, including Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee and Lizzette Martinez, among others, all of whom were evacuated following the threat.

“At tonight’s premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series Surviving R Kelly at NeueHouse Madison Square, several anonymous threats were called in,” a Lifetime spokesperson said, in a statement sent to realscreen. “As a precaution, the network elected to evacuate the building. The safety and security of our panel, guests and staff is of paramount importance to Lifetime.”

A statement issued by the venue to the press said: “Despite non-credible threats called in during tonight’s screening, we followed appropriate safety protocols in collaboration with the NYPD and elected to postpone the event. We stand by the creative women bringing these heroic stories to light.”

The docuseries is slated to air on January 3.

Star India inks deal with Talpa for The Voice franchise

21st Century Fox subsidiary Star India has inked a multi-season, multi-year deal with Dutch mediaco Talpa for the singing competition formats The Voice and spin-off The Voice Kids.

The third season of The Voice will air in February 2019 on Star Channel. It had aired for its previous two seasons on &TV in the region. The new series will all be produced by Banijay Asia, a Banijay Group company.

The entire Voice franchise includes The Voice, The Voice Kids and The Voice Senior, and has a combined number of 110 versions worldwide. The Voice first aired in 2010 in the Netherlands.

(With files from Selina Chignall)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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