OTT Services Offer More and More ‘Must See’ TV Abroad

-And Ahead of the Pay TV Window

When viewers in North America and the UK want to watch the latest series from across the pond, they will increasingly turn to OTT services, thanks to new windowing strategies that aim to keep piracy at bay. Netflix, Amazon and iTunes and the other OTT services have become the go-to for viewers in the US looking to watch the new hit shows from the UK, and conversely for viewers in the UK to watch the new hit shows in the US.

It’s a nice development for viewers who are eager to keep up with new series, as the entertainment ties between the two regions become closer and closer, thanks to the Internet, of course. The development is bad news for pay TV services, which are missing out on eyeballs as a result.

Here’s a list of OTT services that have become exclusive distribution channels for must see content from abroad:

Starz is distributing its newest series, ‘Power’ over the top to UK viewers via Amazon and iTunes. The series launched earlier this month on Starz’s pay TV channel. The Starz recommend price: £2.49 (US$4.18) per episode or £14.99 for the full series. The series won’t hit the pay TV providers in the UK until after the first season has completed in the US, or perhaps even later, as per the usual international release windows for TV shows.

“Enthusiasm from our digital partners in the United Kingdom for the latest Starz original series, Power, led us to give UK fans a unique opportunity to purchase episodes the next business day after their respective worldwide premieres,” said Mara Winokur, SVP, digital at Starz Digital Media.

-Amazon (formerly LoveFilm) offers new episodes of the second season of the History Channel’s original series “Vikings” to UK viewers the day after the US broadcast.

-It was thanks to Netflix that UK viewers could keep up with the final season of “Breaking Bad” last year. Netflix helped break the mold by offering season five episodes online to UK viewers a mere few hours after the US broadcast.

“Netflix has been instrumental in making ‘Breaking Bad’ the success that it is,” said “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan. “I am delighted that fans [in the UK] will be able to enjoy the end of ‘Breaking Bad’ on Netflix so soon after it airs in the US.”

-More recently, Netflix has become the exclusive home to the new series spin-off of the Tarantino film “From Dusk Til Dawn.” Netflix is distributing the series in Canada, UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Latin America. In the US, the show is distributed on the pay TV channel El Rey.

Hulu has become the premiere home to a number of UK shows, including “Pramface,” “The Only Way is Essex” and “Fresh Meat.” Hulu also premiered in the US the French crime show “Braquo” and the Israeli show “Prisoners of War.”

OTT services are also developing series in concert with UK media companies for distribution in the…


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