- - Monday, April 16, 2012

DirecTV has inked a new multi-platform distribution deal with Starz Entertainment that will enable DirecTV to bolster its TV Everywhere foray.

The new pact, for which financial terms were not disclosed, includes Starz’s premium channels, HD offerings and on-demand options, according to the Hollywood Reporter. What’s more, it grants DirecTV the right to offer Starz and Encore online services on its DirecTV Everywhere service, which is currently in Beta.

“We are pleased that the Starz and Encore premium channels and service are a part of our DirecTV Everywhere platform,” said Derek Chang, DirecTV’s executive vice president of content strategy and development in a statement. “Providing our Starz Super Pack subscribers with online access to their subscription content from Starz through DirecTV Everywhere later this year will bring even more value to our customers.”

‘Top Gear’s‘ Hammond taking a ‘Crash Course’


“Top Gear” favorite Richard Hammond is hitting the road for BBC America’s “Crash Course.”

The six-episode series, which airs Mondays following “Top Gear,” follows Mr. Hammond as he travels across the U.S. learning how to operate large pieces of machinery, including a tree harvester, trash-handling equipment and several devices used to demolish buildings, in just three days each.

As someone who’s sat behind the wheel in some of the world’s fastest and most sought-after cars, Mr. Hammond said he was ready to experience something different.

“The idea did kind of grow organically as the best ideas do. The more we thought about it, the more [it made sense]. I have driven every kind of luxury performance car you could find, but these are working vehicles with a job to do,” he told the Hollywood Reporter last week. “That was a good way into talking to the people who do the job.”

The lack of familiarity Mr. Hammond had with the different facets of American machinery proved to be beneficial.

“Because we were looking at it through the eyes of a Brit rather than an American, I get a different take on it so I can happily ask the dumb questions or the obvious questions,” Mr. Hammond said.

Mr. Hammond said the most surprising aspect of “Crash Course” was people’s willingness to show him the ropes.

“They were all working while we were there and yet they found time to welcome us in to make the show, to let me have a go, to be patient and teach me - and that was surprising,” Mr. Hammond said.