Rakuten TV has announced the launch of two new owned and operated FAST channels, bolstering its role as a curated channel programmer in the free ad-supported streaming TV services space.
The channels, announced during MipTV’s FAST Summit, will see the growing pan-European video-on-demand streaming service enter the TV series landscape by launching a reality/factual entertainment channel in the U.K. and crime series channels across German speaking territories and in France, Italy and Spain.
Rakuten’s Real channel which was launched in the U.K. on April 12, will feature shows such as culinary bootcamp series “Worst Cooks in America”; reality show “My New BFF”, with Paris Hilton; and “Undercover Boss.”
It’s new Crime channel, which launched on April 12 in Italy, includes British detective show “Wallander” and “Boss” starring Kelsey Grammer. The channels will roll out to other countries in coming months. Programming is being curated to vary depending on each market. In France Crime will be the home of evergreens such as German crime series “Alerta Cobra 11” and “Un Flic,” which is one of the most successful crime series in French Television.
More FAST platforms on Rakuten will follow, according to a statement.
During MIP’s FAST Summit Rakuten TV’s CEO Cedric Dufour underlined how providing free content supported by ads has become a vital aspect of the company’s business model. “FAST and AVOD currently represent a significant portion of our business, with healthy double digit year-on-year growth,” he said.
The Rakuten CEO also noted that they plan to continue to invest in original productions which are key to creating strong engagement with new customers.
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