Mr. Cowell, 52, brought over “The X Factor” from his native Britain, where it debuted in 2008.
Netflix may face uphill battle in U.K.
Amid its push into international markets, Netflix may find itself boxed out of the most coveted content in the U.K., Bloomberg News reported.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is facing the challenge of getting digital rights from powerful TV players, such as Channel 4, the BBC, BSkyB and ITV, which own most of their content and have their own streaming services, it said. U.K. consumers also already can use a competing streaming service from Amazon.com’s Lovefilm unit.
Netflix plans to launch in the U.K. and Ireland in early 2012. Importantly, a content deal with broadcaster ITV probably won’t include the most recent episodes of such hit shows as “Downtown Abbey,” a source familiar with the matter said. A BBC deal this week gave Netflix access to such popular series as “Top Gear,” but only six months after they air.
“Broadcasters are controlling a lot of the premium, online, video-on-demand business in the U.K.,” said Rio Caraeff, CEO of video-streaming company Vevo. “They’re able to protect their television business by packaging it with their online business.”
Comedian Louis C.K. to share $1M from special
Louis C.K. said he has made more than $1 million from his online comedy special, but instead of keeping the money all to himself, he’ll give some away.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, in his appearance on Wednesday’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Louis C.K. provided a breakdown of how he intends to spend the cash: He’s setting aside $250,000 to pay for the profitable special, the same amount toward holiday bonuses for his staff and then directing $280,000 to five charities of his choosing. They are, in no particular order: charity: water, which provides safe drinking water; Green Chimneys, which helps underprivileged kids; Kiva, which loans money to impoverished people around the world; Fistula Foundation for women who have childbirth injuries; and the Pablove Foundation for pediatric cancer research. Louis C.K. will keep the remaining $220,000.
“That’s a lot of money. I’ve never had $1 million all at once,” said the comedian, who added that he “felt uncomfortable” about it.
The special, “Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater,” became available Dec. 10 for $5, resulting in sales of more than 50,000 in the first 12 hours. The $5 bought fans two downloads and two streams of the stand-up special filmed during the New York Comedy Festival last month.
“[It was] a $5 impulse 220,000 people had,” he said.
• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.
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