“A staggering 20.6 million of you watched England’s victory on BBC One last night,” tweeted “Match of the Day” host and English soccer legend Gary Lineker on Wednesday as the viewing numbers from Tuesday night’s UEFA European Football Championship round of 16 match between England and Germany came in. Those numbers make last night’s match the most-watched of the tournament in the U.K., surpassing the Home Nations derby between England and Scotland, which peaked at 19.4 million.
6.5 million live streams were also accessed across BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online and set a new iPlayer live viewing record of 5.6m streams. In total, more than 27 million Brits tuned in or logged on to watch the game. Next up for the Three Lions is a trip to Rome where they will face Ukraine on Saturday evening.
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ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS), a division of ViacomCBS, and AGC Television, the TV wing of Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, have closed a two-year, 10-project development first-look deal for Spanish language content. The first title in the agreement is “Te Buscaré Hasta Encontrarte,” in English “I Will Look for You Until I Find You,” which examines trauma suffered by human trafficking victims.
“We continue to strengthen our strategy by collaborating with international partners that provide innovative content to our global audiences,” said JC Acosta, president of VIS and Networks Americas. “AGC has an amazing track record and global content pipeline.”
Free film streaming/social media platform Filmzie will be made available as a channel on Rakuten TV in the U.K. The channel will be added automatically to the Rakuten app and will not require any additional software to be downloaded. Filmzie allows users to stream a range of curated films and fosters community building among audiences through its social platform. The arrival on Rakuten TV is part of a larger international rollout at Filmzie, with additional territories and platforms to be announced throughout the year.
Cineflix Rights has closed deals for several programs with broadcasters and streamers in North America. “Wizard of Paws” seasons one and two are heading to Nat Geo Wild in the U.S. with Blue Ant Media scooping season one in Canada. “My Big Family Farm,” “Five Years on the Farm,” “Living on the Veg” and “The Day Will and Kate Got Married” were all picked up by CBC Gem in Canada. From Cineflix’s true crime catalog A&E bought the first two seasons of “Killer Cases” while Investigation Discovery snagged season three of “Homicide: Hours to Kill.” And finally, Bell Media Canada acquired two films in “I Was Lorena Bobbitt” and “An Ice Wine Christmas.”
Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks this December, Channel 5 and Barcroft Studios have teamed up on a three-part documentary series, “Attack on Pearl Harbor: Minute by Minute.” Comprised of survivor interviews, experts, archive material (including the actual naval communications from the period) and new footage of the underwater shipwreck, each 60-minute episode will take audiences through the events that transpired on Dec. 7 1941. The series was commissioned by Channel 5’s Guy Davies. Peter Wyles will executive produce for Barcroft Studios. Channel 5 will broadcast the series in the U.K. Barcroft Studios retains the rights for the US and Canada.
BritBox has acquired the rights to feature-length documentary “Sparkling: The Story of Champagne,” and will be the exclusive home to the film starting July 29. Directed by Frank Mannion, the film features Stephen Fry and a cast from the world of champagne including Taittinger heiress Vitalie Taittinger, Bruno Paillard, Oz Clarke, best-selling authors Don & Petie Kladstrup, Cristal wine-maker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, and Sir Nicholas Soames, Conservative party MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, who allegedly consumed over 40,000 bottles of Pol Roger in his lifetime.
Kidscreen is launching Pitchfest, a five-day speed pitching event aimed at addressing U.K. industry needs for kids and family content. Running Sept. 13-17, Pitchfest will host more than 2,000, 15-minute one-on-one meetings between creators of kids TV content and buyers looking for new programming. Attendees can schedule virtual meetings via the KidscreenXchange platform and/or use Kidscreen’s lottery software which will make the matches for them. Online registration is open now at pitchfest.kidscreen.com.
Lionsgate has boarded Blackbox Media’s supernatural crime drama “Costa” from Gaby Chiappe (“The Beast Must Die”) and Alex Perrin (“The Level”), as a co-producer and distributor. The news came just as it was announced that Spain’s rapidly expanding Conecta Fiction TV meet-mart had selected the series to participate in its Pitch Copro Series. In the series, Cathy and her three children are on the run, managing to escape a violent past in the sanctuary that is Casa de Salamandras, only to learn that the location is home to a disturbed spirit of a murdered hitman.
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