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LoveFilm Instant Ups Exclusive Content

22 Oct, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

"Crossing Lines"

Amazon-owned SVOD service in a footrace with Netflix for subscribers in the U.K.

LoveFilm Instant, the U.K.-based subscription video-on-demand service owned by Amazon, this week launches crime series, “Crossing Lines,” its latest exclusive programming.

The drama about a special unit investigating serialized crimes that cross over European borders co-stars William Fichtner (Elysium, “Entourage”) and Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games). It is broadcast in the U.S. on NBC.

“Lines” is the third TV show to have its first run in the U.K. on LoveFilm rather than traditional broadcasters. Previous shows include critically acclaimed Norse hit “Vikings” and BBC America’s drama series, “Copper”.

"Crossing Lines" is co-produced by Tandem Communications (a Studiocanal company), Bernero Productions, France's TF1 Production, and Sony Pictures Television Networks. "Crossing Lines" Season Two will include 12 new episodes shooting on location in France, the Czech Republic, Monte Carlo and Bulgaria.

LoveFilm Instant is in a footrace with Netflix for subscribers — a race Netflix CEO Reed Hastings claimed to be winning in its Oct. 21 fiscal call — due in part to a slate of original episodic programs.

As a result, LoveFilm is upping its slate of proprietary episodic programming heading into 2014, starting with “Lines,” which Simon Morris, chief marketing officer for LoveFilm, said represents the service’s ongoing foray into exclusive fare, first-run movies and related content.

“We’re trying library content, we’re trying exclusive first-pay content, we’re trying exclusive first-pay movie exclusive, first exclusive TV content. It’s early days — this is a really pioneering time for this business, so it would be fair to say we are experimenting in different areas,” Morris told DigitalTV.net at the press launch.

Backed by Amazon’s deep purse strings and production company, Amazon Studios, LoveFilm also has access to the ecommerce behemoth’s slate of pending original comedies, including “Betas,” and “Alpha House,” — the latter starring John Goodman.

Morris said LoveFilm can benefit from the data compiled by Amazon and Amazon Prime Instant Video to help determine what programing will and won’t work with viewers.

“We’re not the Syfy Channel or a horror channel,” he said regarding content niche portfolios. “What we do have … is the ability to be able to think about not only how people view but also the types of content we might want to buy.”

Morris said LoveFilm likes like the international aspect of “Crossing Lines,” which he thinks will mesh well with U.K. viewers.

“It’s already out in the States, Italy, Spain, France, so it’s starting to find a water level with consumers there, and that’s obviously interesting for us to watch,” he said.

For more information, visit www.lovefilm.com.


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