In the first half of 2019 the proportion of new US TV commissions using existing stories such as comic-books, novels and older TV shows increased significantly, raising the question - is America running out of new ideas? In November and December 2018, one in five commissions’ inspiration stemmed from existing source material. In comparison, in March and April 2019 this share rose to almost one in three. In addition, growth has been increasingly driven by spin-offs and rebooted content. Literary adaptations accounted for 59% of adaptations in November and December 2018, but this fell to 49% three months later in March and April 2019. Conversely, spin-offs and reboots rose from 28% to 43% of existing-source commissions in the same period.
Nearly half of all spin-off and reboot commissions fall under the Reality (19) and Children & Family (11) genres. The 19 Reality spin-off and reboot commissions were spread across 12 different commissioners, led by TLC and AMC's We TV. TLC is spinning off new shows from its successful 90 Day Fiancé, Say Yes to the Dress franchises, as well as rebooting the 90s fashion series What Not to Wear. We TV is spinning off new shows from the Growing Up Hip Hop, Love After Lockup, and Marriage Boot Camp series. The majority of Reality spin-offs and reboots were commissioned for cable networks, which accounted for 18 of the 19 Reality shows. In the Children & Family category, Nickelodeon is the currently the largest single commissioner of reboots and spun-off content this year, and is behind 7 of the 11 Children & Family spin-offs & reboots, with the remainder coming from studios (Disney+ and Warner Media) planning to launch their own SVoD services by the end of the year.
Among the 31 commissioners of rebooted and spun-off content, after Nickelodeon, ABC vies for second place with Disney+, having commissioned five reboots and spin-offs. It has commissioned a reboot of two classic game shows and the 90s police procedural New York Undercover, as well as a spin-off from hit medical drama Gray’s Anatomy and Comedy Black-Ish. Level with TLC, cable network Bravo is also working on four productions, including spin-offs from reality series Below Deck and medical drama Married to Medicine as well as reboots of reality format Blind Date and LGBT+ drama Queer as Folk.
Mediaset is set to leave the Italian pay Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) market in June by shuttering its Mediaset Premium service, leaving Sky as the only provider of pay services on terrestrial. Mediaset plans to transfer its channels and its customers onto its OTT offering, Mediaset Infinity, which will continue to be offered at €7.99 a month under the combined moniker of Premium Infinity. This caps a tumultuous year for Mediaset, which began with the loss in June 2018 of the main package of rights to Italy’s top soccer division, Serie A, to Sky and the entry of OTT sports service DAZN, which picked up the smaller package previously owned by Sky. Mediaset has seen a big decline in pay TV customers as a result; Ampere consumer surveys suggest that uptake of its soccer channel, Mediaset Calcio, which also lost the lucrative UEFA Champions League rights to Sky, has plummeted, despite deals that offered Calcio subscribers cut-price access to DAZN. In contrast, Sky Sports and Sky Calcio channels have seen a strong increase in uptake.
Mediaset’s exit from traditional pay TV distribution will leave Sky as the only premium broadcast provider with offers on both satellite and terrestrial TV. The only other notable operator is Vodafone, which mainly resells Sky packages through IPTV (Internet protocol TV). Sky is now in a good position to capitalise on Mediaset’s misfortune and cement itself as the pay TV home for football in Italy.
China is a huge SVoD market accounting for two out of every five streaming homes globally, but the market has yet to open fully to international content suppliers.
With HBO's Game of Thrones in its final season, it may be unsurprising that US consumers who really enjoy talking about TV Shows are much more likely to take HBO.