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Sunday, April 02, 2017
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 'Hobbit' Finale Debuts as No. 1 Disc Seller

Warner's 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' topped a slew of big new releases the week ended March 29, debuting at No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray sales chart.

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Sling TV Getting HBO

In a major move, Sling TV April 1 announced it will soon have streaming access to HBO for an additional $15 monthly fee. Sling, which costs $20 monthly and is owned by Dish Network, would likely gain access to HBO after the latter bows its own OTT service — HBO Now — but in time for the season premieres of “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley” on April 12.

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Lionsgate Bows 'Premiere' Distribution Label

Lionsgate is launching a specialty film distribution label called “Lionsgate Premiere,” with the purpose of releasing about 15 Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment titles annually through alternative channels, including digital, according to Steve Beeks, co-COO and motion picture group president.

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Starz Launches First OTT Video Service

Starz April 1 bowed its first direct-to-consumer video platform — Starz Play Arabia — offering subscription streaming video to select markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Starz Play Arabia marks the first time that Starz has extended its brand in a service offering outside of the United States.

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Rancor Up as Netflix Streams Down Under

Netflix Australia has been operational for about a week and response to the subscription streaming pioneer’s arrival depends on your point of contact (consumer vs. competitor) with the service.

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