Ap­ple tak­ing a big­ger bite of tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

AP­PLE Inc has hired two long­time Sony Pic­tures Tele­vi­sion ex­ec­u­tives to ex­pand the iPhone maker’s push into orig­i­nal tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming, plung­ing deeper into a field crowded by Hol­ly­wood studios and on­line stream­ing ser­vices.

Jamie Er­licht and Zack van Am­burg, re­spon­si­ble for hit shows such as Break­ing Bad, Bet­ter Call Saul and The Crown, will join Ap­ple in newly created po­si­tions that will over­see all as­pects of video pro­gram­ming, the tech­nol­ogy gi­ant said. The pair have been Sony Pic­tures pres­i­dents since 2005.

“Jamie and Zack are two of the most tal­ented TV ex­ec­u­tives in the world and have been in­stru­men­tal in mak­ing this the golden age of tele­vi­sion,” said Eddy Cue, Ap­ple’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of In­ter­net Soft­ware and Ser­vices.

Hol­ly­wood has been await­ing the en­try of deep-pock­eted Ap­ple into orig­i­nal video se­ries, an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket.

Face­book Inc has signed deals with mil­len­nial-fo­cused news and en­ter­tain­ment creators to make shows for its video ser­vice, while Ama­zon and Net­flix have in­vested bil­lions of dol­lars in award-win­ning come­dies and dra­mas.

Ap­ple be­gan its move into the field last week, with a re­al­ity pro­gramme called Planet of the Apps, an un­scripted show about de­vel­op­ers com­pet­ing for ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing.

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