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Virgin Media teams up with Amazon to make sci-fi TV series The Feed

Monday, February 12th 2018 by Mike Whitehead

After almost a decade since it closed down its original content division, Virgin Media has announced its first major deal with a global streaming service, working with Amazon to produce a 10-part sci-fi series called The Feed.

If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your phone and take a sneaky look on your Facebook or Snapchat profile, then this could be the show for you.

Based on a book by first time author, Nick Clark Windo, The Feed is set in a near-future, dystopian London where people can download social media feeds directly into their brain. Young couple, Kate and Tom, attempt to curb their addiction but when ‘The Feed’ goes down society appears to be crumbling with it and their six-year old daughter, Bea, goes missing.

Expected to cost in excess of 40m USD to produce, the series will be adapted by The Walking Dead writer and co-executive producer Channing Powell. While The Feed does not have a set budget, the cost for high-end TV production such as this is typically around 4m - 6m USD per episode.

Exclusive UK rights

Virgin Media has secured exclusive rights to show the series in the UK with its parent company, Liberty Global, owning the rights in 10 other European markets. Amazon, via its Prime Video service, has the rights in the US, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean.

The long held stance that streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon are a major threat to traditional TV is beginning to soften and this deal will only be seen as a positive step forward to more high-end production partnerships.

Nevertheless, the race to attain exclusive content shows no signs of slowing down, nor does the cost of producing such programmes. As Netflix arms itself with an 8bn USD annual budget and Amazon 4.5 billion, co-producing has become a necessity in order for traditional TV companies to afford the highest quality of programming demanded by viewers.

High-end TV – defined as any programme costing more than £1 million an hour to produce – has seen a significant rise in spend from £430m to almost £1 billion over the last five years, buoyed by the huge popularity of programmes such as The Crown and Game of Thrones. To put this cost into perspective, the size of the high-end TV production industry now equates to half that of the UK film industry.

There are no signs of the streaming market slowing down as Disney recently pulled its content from Netflix in the US as it looks to launch its own streaming service at some point in the near future with plans to bring its flagship franchise, Star Wars, to the small screen.

How to get Amazon Prime streaming services

All you need to watch content from Amazon Prime is an effective internet connection. Once you have this you can watch all of its content on a range of devices from your TV to your mobile phone.

Amazon Prime is available via www.amazon.co.uk for £7.99 a month and comes with a 30-day free trial and no fixed term. It also unlocks a number of other potential benefits such as one-day delivery and much more.

How about Virgin Media?

Virgin Media offers a range of TV packages, which start at £22 a month for Mix TV. But in order to watch Virgin exclusives such as The Feed or historical drama Will, you'll need to be subscribed to at least the Full House bundle, which is £44 a month without broadband, plus a £20 upfront fee.

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