Crown preps SVoD, network and novels | News

Hallmark Channel’s US-based operator Crown Media Family Networks is preparing to launch an SVoD service, a third US cablenet and a publishing division from which it can derive IP for programming.

Erin McIlvain

Hallmark Movies Now will become the company’s first subscription streaming service and is set to launch on October 3. The service, which is described as “a wholly distinct” offering from Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, will cost US$5.99 a month or US$59.99 annually.

It will offer subscribers more than 800 hours of family friendly content not available on Crown Media’s linear channels, with new offerings every week. Details of the programming are yet to be revealed.

Erin McIlvain, Hallmark’s exec VP of distribution and content strategy, said the launch of Hallmark Movies Now “is the natural next step in our distribution strategy.”

“Over the last 15 years we have collected a considerable library of content and this new service will allow subscribers to stream and enjoy a differentiated line-up of programming – whenever they want and wherever they are.”

In addition, Crown will launch Hallmark Drama, its third linear cablenet, on October 1 to offer award-winning and long-running primetime TV series.

Programming for the service is also yet to be revealed, although Crown said plans are underway for original programming to be produced exclusively for the network.

Bill Abbott, president and CEO at Crown, said Hallmark Drama’s launch was a “significant milestone” and “reflects our ongoing commitment to expanding our footprint within the ad-supported linear ecosystem.”

The company has also launched its first publishing division, Hallmark Publishing, which is seeking submissions of original manuscripts to be published as novels.

The division will also look to turn novels into original movies or series for the three linear networks, while existing shows from…

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