Studio Glam’s The Extra Mile is enjoying strong ratings on Denmark’s Kanal 5. The show that sets challenges to divorced couples in hope of winning prize money for their children had a launch that was 40% above the channel average and has grown steadily. The recent Episode 4 was the most-watched show of the day. The Extra Mile is produced locally by Endemol, which acquired rights in a multi-territory deal at Mip-TV last year. Says Ami Glam, Studio Glam CEO and executive producer: “Once again The Extra Mile format proves its adaptation abilities. The Denmark series successes gives us great happiness and pride.” Originally launched in Israel last year, it was the best launch in Channel 10 history with a 37.7% share, 209% above the slot average. It was the most-watched show on Channel 10 for the past two years.
After agreeing to pay a record £4.2B ($6.4M) for English Premier League soccer rights in February, Sky is set to increase its prices for sports and family entertainment packages in the UK. The Financial Times reports that Sky, which usually raises prices in September, will hike them in June by £1 for sports to £47 per month and by £3 to £36 for its family bundle, which includes access to drama channel Sky Atlantic. News of the increases comes just weeks before UK regulator Ofcom is expected to hear a complaint from rival Virgin Media that the public is overpaying for football coverage in the UK. Sky has more than 11M subscribers. Per FT, some industry figures have speculated that Sky’s ability to raise prices could be hampered by lower-cost services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Analysts say that Sky turns a loss on sports packages but improves on that with its entertainment offer. Sky’s largest shareholder is 21st Century Fox.
The UK’s Channel 5 has extended its rights deal for Big Brother with Endemol Shine UK for a further three years. The reality series historically has been one of the flagship draws of the channel, which now is owned by Viacom. Under the terms of the extended deal, Channel 5 will continue to broadcast two series of Celebrity Big Brother and one series of Big Brother each year, as well as associated programming, all produced by Endemol Shine UK’s Initial. The renewal follows record ratings for the latest season of Celebrity Big Brother, which attracted an average audience of 3.1M.
Adrian Sexton has been tapped as COO of Endemol Beyond USA, the premium channel network and digital division of Endemol Shine North America. Based in LA, Sexton — formerly EVP Digital at Participant Media — will oversee building new strategic partnerships and investments, business development, strategy, sales and distribution opportunities. “Adrian’s wealth of experience in both digital and traditional media is the right fit for Endemol Beyond USA as we continue to pioneer the world’s first premium channel network that’s now home to some of the most influential talent and hottest content in the digital space,” said Will Keenan, President of Endemol Beyond USA. “We’d be hard-pressed to find a more intelligent and hard-working executive to further develop our business.” Before his stint at Participant. Sexton was head of digital and business development at Lionsgate.
Discovery Communications has promoted Helen Hawken to VP Production and Development, Factual, for Discovery Networks International. Hawken, who was Director of Programming, will move into her new role immediately. She will develop and commission both natural history and factual productions for DNI’s London production hub to be broadcast in over 200 countries including the UK. Hawken’s commissioning credits include Meet The Slots, Robson Green’s Ultimate Catch and Seven Deadly Sins With Richard E Grant. She also has been executive producer on such shows as Man V Expert, Marooned With Ed Staffor, Naken And Marooned and What Happened Next. In separate but related news, DNI announced five new series and specials to be broadcast across Discovery’s networks in more than 220 countries and territories in 2015 and 2016. They are Terror In The Skies: AirAsia And Beyond, a documentary that examines the tragic events of December 28, 2014, when AirAsia flight 8501 and its 155 passengers and seven crew members were lost in a storm; Engine Addict With Jimmy De Ville, a six-part series focusing on the hunt for some of the world’s most rare and iconic engines that will be repurposed in uncanny ways; Lost And Starving, a mix of adventure, survival and food in six parts; The Brainy Bunch, inspired by The Big Bang Theory, which introduces viewers to the personalities and keen minds behind some remarkable breakthroughs in science, technology and medicine; and Life Of Dogs, a major natural history commission that offers insight into the incredible natural history of dogs.