A+E teams up with Simplestream to launch Blaze TV apps
James R | On 27, Nov 2016
A+E is teaming up with Simplestream to launch new streaming apps for its UK TV channel, Blaze.
A+E Networks’ first free-to-air channel in the UK, Blaze launched on Freeview and Sky in September. The channel aims to “raise the flag for real people”, bringing US entertainmentp programmes such as Storage Wars, Mountain Men, Pawn Stars, Unusual Suspects, Ice Road Truckers and American Restoration to British audiences.
While it’s relatively rare these days for a linear TV channel to launch in the UK, what’s equally rare is for a channel not to have some form of online presence, as audiences expect to be able to stream things when and where they want. And so A+E has signed up Simplestream to provide TV Everywhere distribution for Blaze.
Heather Jones, General Manager at A+E Networks UK, says: “We’re very pleased to be working with Simplestream to ensure that Blaze provides a really compelling and easy to navigate ‘TV Everywhere’ experience that truly engages UK consumers. Their experienced team has provided us with the tools and services to seamlessly and effectively manage our multiscreen assets.”
The Simplestream team completed a comprehensive integration with A+E’s playout provider to create a single unified workflow that ingests the live channel and creates VOD assets directly from A+E’s Media Asset Management system – including metadata and media rights controls.
Simplestream, which is also behind the popular TVPlayer app, has launched Blaze apps on iOS and Android devices, as well as desktop computers and 4th gen Apple TV boxes, with the app available to download now. Viewers can use the app to stream Blaze live, but also catch up on-demand after broadcast, with new episodes added every day and each one available for up to 30 days.
Dan Finch, Commercial Director at Simplestream, comments: “With consumers becoming accustomed to constant connectivity, it is now vital that broadcasters retain a competitive edge by ensuring their content is accessible from any device. Embracing new and innovative platforms is a significant move for the UK’s free to air TV market. We’ve achieved this for A+E Networks by providing a cost effective, premium quality live, VOD and catch-up TV experience that will help the network reach a wider audience. We look forward to helping A+E Networks roll out its channels across other OTT platforms and to make Blaze a household name in the coming months.”