U.K. public service broadcaster Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank have revealed Black in Business, an initiative to help boost up to five Black-owned businesses with TV advertising airtime worth £100,000 ($123,400) each. The business owners will also have a bespoke TV commercial made for them and six months of tailored marketing and business support from Channel 4, Lloyds Bank and social enterprise DOES.
The initiative is designed to support to small businesses that are new to TV advertising and comes after research commissioned by Channel 4’s commercial arm, 4Sales, earlier this year revealed that Black entrepreneurs face more obstacles setting up and running their businesses than their white counterparts. It is part of Channel 4’s Black to Front legacy, an ongoing commitment to improve Black representation on-screen and more widely in the TV industry.
A further five shortlisted businesses will receive the Rising Star grant, worth £3,000, provided by Lloyds and Jamii: an online discovery platform for Black creators and makers, and a one-to-one consultation session to support their business goals.
Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is investing CAD$1 million ($734,000) towards the building of a film and television production studio in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the org’s largest funding commitment yet. This is part of a larger investment in Nunavut through the ISO’s sector development program, which also includes support for broadcasters Inuit TV and Uvagut TV. ISO was first-in-funder for the studio initiative, led by Red Marrow Media, which led to a private partnership investment from Inuk entrepreneur Cody Dean.
Red Marrow’s as-yet untitled scripted series created and written by Inuit writers and producers Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril will be now be shot in Nunavut rather than in the south, maximizing the benefits of the project for the Inuit production community. The project is majority produced by Red Marrow Media, in partnership with Miranda de Pencier’s Toronto-based production company Northwood Entertainment and is the first ever CBC/APTN/Netflix collaboration.
LGBTQ+ television and streaming service OUTtv has set its first original U.K. commissions. “Rosie Runs Riot” (6 x 15’) features drag queen Rosie Beaver pounding the pavements of London, making new friends, playing games and causing havoc. Guests from the London drag scene will feature in some episodes including Miss Moppe, LoUis CYfer and Richard Energy.
“Live at The Queer Comedy Club” (6×22’) is a stand-up comedy series featuring a selection of comedians performing live at The Queer Comedy Club in north London. Each show will feature one of the founders of The Queer Comedy Club as MC and two guest performers picked from the club’s roster of LGBTQ+ talent.
Both series will launch on OUTtv globally later this year, and simultaneously on its U.K. channel Froot.tv.
The Eurovision Song Contest, organised by the European Broadcasting Union, reached 162 million people over the three live shows across 38 public service media markets, the BBC has revealed. The viewing share of the grand final on May 13 was 40.9% and was more than double the broadcast channels average (17.4%). Host country the U.K. delivered their largest Eurovision audience on record, with an average of 9.9 million viewers watching the grand final on BBC One, up 12% on 2022, with a 63% share of viewers.
Winning country Sweden delivered an average audience of 2.3 million viewers, accounting for 82.3% of all TV viewers in the country. Last year’s winning country, Ukraine, delivered a viewing share of 19.7%. In 13 out of 39 markets Eurovision claimed over 50% of the viewing share, led by Iceland with 98.7% and followed closely by other Nordic markets (Norway 87.8%, Finland 85.6%, and Sweden 82.3%).
Some 7.6 million people watched the grand final live on YouTube with over 3.2 million live views of the semi-finals. On TikTok, Eurovision’s official entertainment partner, the three live shows were viewed 4.8 million times.
Among 15–24-year-olds, the viewing share of the grand final was 53.5%, four times higher than the broadcast channels average (13.8%).
MTV EMA nominee Ananya Birla‘s new single “Caught Up,” written by Grammy winners Kimberly ‘Kaydence’ Krysiuk, who has written songs for Beyonce and Ariana Grande, and Trevor Muzzy who has worked with Lady Gaga and Pitbull, and is produced by M.A.R.S., has been released.
The song was written during the pandemic when Birla was stuck in the U.S., away from her home in India. “I wanted to find a way to bring that taste of India into my soundscape in a non-stereotypical, integrated kind of way. After months of iteration, when we finally got it, I just knew it felt right. “Caught Up” is the first song in this new soundscape,” Birla said.