The $19M payment brings C-Media’s total investment in the China pay TV VOD service up to $25M, and gives it three of YOU On Demand‘s seven board seats, the companies say this morning. Two current board members, Michael Jackson (former chairman of Universal Television, USA Entertainment, and CEO of UK’s Channel Four) and Michael Birkin (former CEO of Omnicom Asia) resigned to make room for the reps from Beijing-based C-Media, a mobile video provider. The company’s controlled by its founder, Xuesong Song. ”In addition to providing us with funding to assist our Company at this important inflection point in our corporate evolution, we also look forward to continuing to benefit from Mr. Song’s tremendous experience and success doing business in China, as well as C Media’s mobile industry expertise,” says YOU On Demand Chairman Shane McMahon. Disney Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., Miramax Films, Lionsgate and Magnolia Pictures are among the studios that distribute films through YOU On Demand.
The arrangement should help YOU to beef up its mobile VOD business, which kicked off in November with films from Paramount. While the company isn’t disclosing deal terms, it expects to ultimately have 500 movies for its YOU Cinema app, which comes preloaded on Huawei Mate smartphones. Lionsgate‘s contributions are still under discussion, but YOU named a few Disney films that it will offer mobile customers. Alice In Wonderland and Pirates Of The Caribbean and some titles from the Marvel library will go on YOU’s subscription VOD platform with others including Thor: The Dark World and Saving Mr. Banks available for purchase. “This partnership marks the next step in YOU On Demand’s commitment to provide rich and diverse content to customers anytime and anywhere on a wide variety of platforms, including mobile, digital cable, IPTV, Over-The-Top and online,” says company Chairman Shane McMahon — who’s a former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler and exec, and the son of that company’s CEO Vince McMahon and two-time Connecticut GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon. Some 18M cable customers receive YOU’s conventional VOD service. YOU shares, which trade on NASDAQ, have appreciated 135% over the last 12 months.
Studio and theater owners who wonder what would happen to sales if movies are rushed to home video should keep an eye on what’s happening in China. Warner Bros has begun an experiment to stay ahead of DVD pirates by putting films on the You On Demand VOD cable platform as early as four weeks after they first appear in theaters in the U.S. YOD is talking with its other studio partners — including Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, and Lionsgate — about following suit. It formally launched in the country this past Monday, following a lengthy period of beta tests. And it began to promote the quick availability of films this week as it launched its first marketing campaign, targeting the Chinese New Year which will be celebrated on February 10 and 11. Warner Bros provided Argo to the platform on November 28, and Gangster Squad joined the line up on Monday. Piracy is a huge problem for non-Chinese studios opening movies there; the government only allows 34 foreign films into theaters each year. The VOD service has agreements that will put it into 18.2M homes, and is aiming to have 30M by year end. YOD is run by Shane McMahon, a former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler and exec, and the son of that company’s CEO Vince McMahon and …
‘Everybody Dance Now’ Stumbles But Murdochs Keep Music Playing
Everybody Dance Now, a new Australian series hosted by Lachlan Murdoch’s wife Sarah Murdoch and featuring American “dance masters” Kelly Rowland and Jason Derülo, has stumbled badly on Network Ten, whose chairman is … Lachlan Murdoch. The Sunday night premiere averaged just 598,000 viewers against Nine’s debuting Big Brother and local crime series Underbelly: Badness. The audience dropped to 304,000 for the second episode on Monday night. Ten insists it’s sticking with the show produced by FremantleMedia Australia, although it’s been cut back to one hour on Sunday nights from three hours over two nights. Offering more than $A450,000 ($472,000) in prizes, the show aims to find the most entertaining dance act in Oz. - Don Groves
Alan Partridge Returns To UK TV Ahead Of Big Screen Debut
Funnyman Steve Coogan is bringing his signature character, Alan Partridge, back to UK television audiences next year via Sky Atlantic. The show, Mid Morning Matters 2, follows a first series that was aired on Sky Atlantic this year. It sees the hapless, politically incorrect radio presenter working at a shabby radio station in North Norfolk, England. Filming has begun on the series that’s produced by Coogan and Veep’s Armando Iannucci along with Baby Cow chief exec Henry Normal. There’s an Alan Partridge feature in the works that starts shooting in January for an August 16, 2013 UK release which StudioCanal is handling. Coogan and Iannucci penned that script with frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Declan Lowney is directing.
(New York, NY, 08/01/12) – YOU On Demand Holdings, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: YOD) PRC subsidiary, a leading Pay-Per-View (PPV) and Video On Demand (VOD) platform in China, announced today that it has signed an agreement to offer Paramount Pictures titles through YOU On Demand’s Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) and Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services in the People’s Republic of China.
The company name sounds a little creepy, but investors attracted to anything that has to do with China and entertainment may be glad to know that beginning tomorrow NASDAQ will carry shares of YOU On Demand, China’s top provider of pay-per-view and VOD services, under the ticker symbol “YOD.” It currently offers films from Disney, Warner Bros, Lionsgate, and Miramax. Before you call in your “buy” order, you should know that the company’s still in its investment phase and lost $4.2M in Q1 — an increase from its $2.6M loss in the period last year — on revenues of about $2M, up 20%. This month CEO Shane McMahon loaned the company $3M. Company shares have lost nearly 40% of their value over the last 12 months in over the counter trading. These and other factors “raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” YOU On Demand says in its latest