Moves and Shakes: Saudi Arabia theater ban; Samsung’s LED cinema tech; Verizon inks deal
Saudi Arabia lifts cinema ban, NATO members “stand ready” to move in
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has celebrated Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift a 35-year ban on theaters, paving the way for Hollywood to move into the burgeoning market. As the kingdom undergoes a sweeping cultural shift, spurred on by a sort of internal coup, censorship laws are being torn apart and rewritten.
It’s a historic move, and NATO heartily approves of what could be a game-changer for Middle East filmmaking, commenting that several member companies have “extensive plans” and “stand ready to develop luxurious and cutting-edge movie theaters.”
Samsung “actively planning” to bring Cinema LED screen to theaters around the world
Samsung is pushing its pioneering cinema technology into European screens, with the company having said that it is “actively planning for expansion”. The tech giant is primed to soft launch its Samsung Cinema LED screen, boasting 8.8 million LEDs, in Switzerland. Assuming everything goes according to plan, it’s expected that the eye-popping resolution will then spread its 4K wings across the continent and into the U.S. during 2018, in a further victory for digital filmmaking.
Verizon and NFL reach new agreement; exclusive streaming rights not included
Facing heavy competition in the marketplace, tech firm Verizon and the NFL have signed a new five-year deal that extends their streaming rights arrangement. The specific terms of the new deal, set to take effect in January, have not been disclosed, but it is expected that Verizon will lose exclusive streaming rights in the process.
Disney|ABC Television Group appoints Mike Napodano as CTO
Mike Napodano has been named senior vice president and chief technology officer for Disney|ABC Television Group, tasked with overseeing the Group’s long-term “technology vision and implementation”. Napodano previously spent more than a decade at NBC Universal, and has extensive “leadership experience across the media, financial and banking industries.”