The Paramount Plus streaming service will be launched in Australia and New Zealand in August. It joins an increasingly crowded marketplace, but claims local traction through ViacomCBS’s ownership of Australian linear channel Channel Ten and a handful of local content commissions.
The launch announcement followed publication of ViacomCBS’ latest financial results and the debut of new shows in the U.S.
ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand said that the SVOD service will kick off on Aug. 11, 2021, and that Ten’s existing streaming offering 10 All Access will be rebranded as Paramount Plus. It will be priced at A$8.99 ($6.75) per month in Australia.
At launch it will offer 20,000 movies and TV episodes from Paramount Pictures and the Showtime, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel and Sony Pictures Television labels.
“We are poised to become as powerful a player in streaming as we are in television. By leveraging the iconic Paramount brand, leading edge infrastructure, along with an incredible super-sized pipeline of must-see content, Paramount Plus will deliver an exceptional consumer entertainment experience,” said Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive VP, ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand, in a prepared statement.
The Australian streaming scene is dominated by Netflix as market leader, followed by Disney Plus and Stan, which is owned by Australia’s broadcast and newspapers group Nine Entertainment.
CBS acquired Channel Ten in 2017. Although the channel ranks only as Australia’s fourth most popular local channel ViacomCBS aims to leverage its brand and audience to the benefit of Paramount Plus, particularly in local programming.
Together with the platform launch, ViacomCBS announced the commissioning of a second season of Australian drama show “Five Bedrooms” and greenlight for new shows sex comedy “Spreadsheet,” drama “Last King of The Cross” and movie “6 Festivals.”
“Five Bedrooms” sees a surrogate family once again leaping into the property market having lost their first communal home at auction. It stars Kat Stewart, Stephen Peacocke, Doris Younane, Roy Joseph, Katie Robertson and Hugh Sheridan. The show received major production investment from 10 ViacomCBS in association with federal funding body Screen Australia and was developed and produced with the assistance of state fund Film Victoria.
“Spreadsheet” is a comedy series about a divorced, hectic mother-of-two who develops a database of sex options, enabling her to pick and choose as if from a conveyor belt of sushi. Produced by Northern Pictures and filmed in Melbourne, it received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria.
Based on the best-selling autobiography of John Ibrahim and produced by Helium, “Last King of The Cross” is an operatic story of two brothers, one worshipped by his father and the other scorned. As they quest for power on the street, the brothers lose each other.
“6 Festivals” is a coming-of-age feature film about three 16-year-old best friends who embark on a six-month bucket list journey to music festivals after one of their number is diagnosed with a terminal illness. It is produced by Invisible Republic and Hype Republic. It received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Paramount Plus. It was financed with support from Sony Music, with Boom Smash, Screen Canberra and Screen Queensland.
International shows available on Paramount Plus Australia at launch will include: “The First Lady,” “Dexter,” “The Gilded Age,” “Yellowjackets,” “Leonardo,” “American Rust,” “Two Weeks To Live,” “Coyote,” “Mayor of Kingstown,” “Everyone Is Doing Great,” “Anne Boleyn,” “Spy City,” “Monsterland,” “The Luminaries,” “The Harper House” “Guilty Party,” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”
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