Newen Studios Buys ‘The Gryphon’ Producer & Consolidates In Germany
Newen Studios has made a big play in Germany, taking a majority stake in Amazon Prime Video’s The Gryphon producer Dog Haus and consolidating its activities under a new outfit, Spark Studios. Spark will be run by CEOs Martin Heisler and Eva Kemme, who previously oversaw Flare Film, which Newen acquired in 2021. Dog Haus is Spark’s first acquisition. Launched in 2021 by André Zoch, Erol Yesilkaya, and Sebastian Marka, Dog Haus was behind The Gryphon, an adaptation of Wolfgang Hohlbein‘s book series with W&B TV and one of Amazon’s biggest budget European originals since it started making TV outside of the U.S. The founders had previously been behind big German shows such as Tatort and Exit. Newen said Spark will “bring together the best audiovisual talents in Germany.” “We are delighted that Sebastian, Erol, and André have decided to become part of the Newen/Spark family,” said Spark CEO Heisler. “We want to work with exceptional talents on exciting projects and, as part of a strong European Producers Network, help them to turn their visions for outstanding films and series into a reality.” Flare launched in 2021 and had set up a TV division called Flare Entertainment the year prior. Newen now owns more than 50 indies across Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
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New UK Streaming Service Sets Q2 Launch Date
The new free TV streaming service from the British broadcasters has set launch date for Q2 of this year. Freely, which is being overseen by Everyone TV – the organization that runs Freeview in the UK and is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – has unveiled a set of features including a mini guide, browse option and TV guide. Freely will deliver live television over broadband for the first time by Freeview. The new service will be built in to the next generation of smart TVs and feature shows from across the public broadcasters and other free-to-air-channels, “replicating” the terrestrial TV experience but via broadband. Vestel, the manufacturer behind more than 20 TV brands, has been added as additional smart TV partner to offer Freely in a five-year long term deal, as the platform seeks distribution to permeate the market. Freely also revealed it is working with BBC Studios-owned channel group UKTV over a deal to bring its channel portfolio to the service. “It’s clear the way people are watching TV is changing, with more audiences switching over to a broadband only connection,” said Chief Product Officers Sarah Milton and Carl Pfeiffer. “We’ve built Freely around the needs of British audiences, bringing them the freedom to choose how they want to watch, with all their favourite shows from the UK’s leading broadcasters all in one place for free.”
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