The news today and recently has been full of the latest updates on the escalating video streaming industry. On January 26, 2016 Wall Street Journal reports, “Twitter and GoPro Team Up for Periscope Live-Video Streaming.” Wall Street Journal (WSJ) states that GoPro and Twitter have teamed up to bring live-streaming video to GoPro’s action cameras. The live video feeds will only be broadcast to Twitter’s Periscope video app. The video can only come from one of GoPro’s two top-of-the-line cameras. WSJ says, “The collaboration between GoPro and Twitter makes sense given the growing popular of streaming video apps and the desire for both GoPro and Twitter to grow their respective audiences.” Streaming video, including live streaming, has tremendous worldwide momentum today. On January 26, The Decider reports seven reasons why streaming video is primed to have its biggest year yet in 2016. Further, on January 26, Thai Tech reports, “Spotify to add video streaming to its mobile apps.” Furthermore, Time reports today that streaming video services, “Amazon and Netflix Dominate Spending at Sundance.”
For those who want their video streaming to impact our world for good, cinematographic quality filming with the best of artists and the best of content will have the greatest, lasting impact. This is something that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett understand and they are on the frontlines of streaming video that is of the highest quality with the best redemptive content. Aware of the growing interest in streamed entertainment around the world, leading producers Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey have been working to expand the ever-growing renaissance of artistry and reformation of content in TV programs and movies by developing streaming programming for the best in artistic performances of excellent, redemptive content for viewers around the world.
Recently, they revealed that they were a part of a division of United Artists Media Group (UAMG), which has included MGM, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Hearst Entertainment. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have shared how they have been developing a faith-based internet channel with UAMG. This channel with UAMG has been planned as an over-the-top video channel dedicated to the best of faith-based content. This OTT service (over the top, direct to consumer, internet service) is planned for viewers worldwide.
This frontline OTT service has been planned to include the following: original content, premium film and TV catalog titles, Christian music videos, “portals” to regional and national congregations, sermons from around the globe, various short-form faith-based videos, and a return to the greatest story ever told, the Bible. This service has been planned for internet TV (or online TV) with its digital distribution of television content via the public Internet. Consumers can access OTT content through internet-connected devices such as: desktop and laptop computers, set-top boxes (such as the Roku), smartphones and tablets.
Recently, according to Deadline Hollywood.com, MGM agreed to buy the 45% stake it didn’t own in its UAMG venture from partners Burnett, Downey, and Hearst and to put Burnett in charge of the MGM Television and Digital Group. In this deal, Burnett and Downey swap their 23% stake in UAMG for 1,337,360 shares of MGM’s privately traded stock. Hearst receives $113.5 million in cash for its 22% interests. Burnett will become president of the TV and digital group, has signed a 5-year contract, and will report to MGM chief Gary Barber.
Further, according to Deadline Hollywood.com, the planned streaming channel will remain separate and to be controlled by Downey, Burnett, Hearst and MGM. Downey is to serve as chief content officer for the channel and to report to Burnett as president of LightWorkers Media, the faith and family division of MGM Television.
The Hollywood Reporter.com has explained that when the deal closes, UAMG will be absorbed by MGM Television and Digital Group and Burnett will become its president, He will answer to MGM chief executive Gary Barber. MGM’s TV business will be consolidated into an entity with new name under the leadership of Burnett, who is one of the industry’s most successful producers. This transaction kick-starts the plans for the OTT channel aimed at churchgoing Americans, an audience of anywhere between 60 million and 150 million.
Burnett says the digital channel is seeking executives, as well as developing original programs. Burnett would also like to collect nonexclusive rights to 100,000 episodes of shows including “Touched by an Angel,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and more that appeal to the faith-based audience. He also plans for the OTT channel to have a strong interactive component to it.
Through faith-based projects as “The Bible” (History), “A.D.” (NBC), “Answered Prayers” (TLC) and more, Burnett and Downey have become leaders in scripted, Christian, faith-based, television dramas. They are also working with MGM as producers of the upcoming Ben-Hur remake for theaters in 2016. MGM also has a huge library of current and past content that includes redemptive classics like “The Hobbit.” Burnett has told Variety.com, “We’ve been working closely with Gary Barber since September, 2014… It made a seamlessly easy move to merge UA into MGM.” MGM already offers programing through streaming and cable services.
As well as their excellent television series, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have been leading Christian producers of redemptive movies with the best artistry and redemptive content. They have produced the Movieguide® award-winning movie “SON OF GOD.” They have also recently produced the outstanding “Little Boy” and “Woodlawn” movies. Movieguide.org has quoted Burnett, “…Demand for quality content is stronger than ever, and the opportunities to grow our pipeline and develop projects from the wealth of Intellectual Property in the MGM and United Artists libraries are enormous. There is no better time to be creating premium content for distribution across multiple platforms.”
In their dramatic, redemptive theater and television movies, Mark Burnett’s and Roma Downey’s work has the common essential themes of faith, love, and hope, which are evident even in the midst of loss and hardship. They have respectfully sought the assistance and support of Bible scholars and churches of all denominations across the country in their productions in which they bring the Truth, Light, and Eternal Hope of Jesus Christ to a dark and oppressed world. They have sought to serve as a unifying force of love, good, and hope for people of faith in the Bible around the globe. They have rallied leaders for prayer and action to serve, rescue, and help Christians facing persecution and genocide. They have organized a campaign to provide millions of dollars of aid for persecuted Christians around the world. They are role models in using the best and most up-to-date technologies to serve the world with Biblical Good News.