Discovery+ Goes Free On Sky; Woodcut Hires Meriel Beale; Netflix Doc Talent Fund Global Briefs

Discovery+ Goes Free On Sky

Discovery+ is to become available on Sky for free in the UK and Ireland. The Warner Bros. Discovery streamer, which was initially £6.99 ($8.50) a month, will be integrated within a subscription – a move that solidifies Sky’s position as the major UK aggregator of U.S. streaming content. Sky TV customers with a discovery+ Entertainment pass will be automatically upgraded to the Entertainment and Sport service for free, giving them access to the likes of Australia Open tennis, the Tour de France and entertainment shows such as Peter Crouch: Save Our Beautiful Game and Beauty and the Geek. Sky TV Managing Director Elizabeth Wynn said “value is incredibly important right now,” coming as the UK enters recession and people shed costly TV subscriptions. In the UK, Sky now offers up packages featuring Netflix and Comcast streamer Peacock, as well as discovery+. The newly-combined HBO Max Discovery streamer is set to launch later this year but Sky has a content deal with HBO that doesn’t run down until 2025.

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‘World’s Most Evil Killers’ Producer Woodcut Hires Meriel Beale For Fact-Ent Push

World’s Most Evil Killers producer Woodcut Media is “significantly ramping up” its factual entertainment offering by hiring British producer Meriel Beale as an exec. Beale becomes Senior Executive Producer, Factual Entertainment to focus on developing original formats and securing commissions both domestically and abroad in the space. Beale produced ITV’s Through the Keyhole with Keith Lemon from pilot to series and other credits include travelogue series Motorhoming with Merton and Webster. She is also an inclusivity champion, who founded the Unseen on Screen anti-bullying project and is currently mentoring for Dermot O’Leary’s Learning the Ropes project. Woodcut CEO Kate Beal said the indie is “significantly ramping up” factual entertainment as it enters its “new phase of growth.” “Meriel’s long list of credits and wealth of proven expertise will no doubt make an invaluable contribution as we continue to expand our team and make our mark on the global TV landscape,” she added. Beale described Woodcut as a “smart and exciting company.”

Netflix Unveils Second Documentary Talent Fund

Netflix has unveiled its second Documentary Talent Fund following a year in which it supported BAFTA-nominated short Love Languages. The fund gives producers up to £30,000 ($36,600) to make a short doc film. This year’s theme is ‘Connection’ and creators will be asked to make a doc between eight and 12 minutes in length. There were thousands of applicants last year from across the UK, Netflix said, and one, Jason Osborne and Precious Mahaga’s Love Languages, went on to be longlisted for British Short Film at the BAFTAs. Overall, the 10 films selected last year have been viewed at more than 40 festival screenings. “This year we’re looking to go one step further, on the theme of Connection, and we encourage filmmakers to interrogate this and come forward with their unique take and vision, whatever that looks like,” said Kate Townsend, Netflix’s VP of Documentary Features.

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