Sony’s Film1 in The Netherlands will drop its linear channels, and terminate the carriage of its services on the various Dutch distribution platforms, at the end of July 2019.
At the moment, the movie channels and on-demand services of Film1 are available on the various cable, DTH and IPTV platforms from Ziggo, KPN, Canal Digitaal, T-Mobile, and Caiway. There are four linear channels, Film1 Premiere, Film1 Drama, Film1 Action, and Film1 Family, with most of the movies also available on-demand. All platforms were informed by the broadcaster about the termination of the service.
Last year, Film1 started to market its offer as an OTT service for €7.99 a month. In April, the service became available over an app on Samsung smart TV sets. Film1 go is also available on mobile devices with its Film1 Go service. And just a few days ago, LG announced the launch of the Film1 app on the company’s webOS platform. It is not clear if the OTT service will also be terminated.
Sony Pictures Television acquired Film1 in July 2015. At this time, Sony Pictures Entertainment confirmed the plans to close Film1 [the linear channel and OTT service] in the coming months, but said there is ‘no comment’.
Broadband TV Views. Film1 looks like being a casualty of the battle for premium TV rights, with major studios and broadcasters now launching their own streaming OTT services, and as a result withdrawing rights from third party providers. Disney/Fox, Comcast/Sky/Universal, Viacom/Paramount/Pluto, WarnerMedia/AT&T and others are now entering or about to enter the market with direct-to-consumer services, in competition with Netflix and Amazon. This leaves platforms such as Somy’s Film1 with little choice. So far, Sony has not made any plans public to go D2C as well.