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A+E Networks EMEA Enhances its BLAZE Streaming Service with Simplestream

A+E Networks EMEA, a Hearst company, has extended its relationship with Simplestream, the award-winning provider of next-generation TV solutions, to provide a significant upgrade to its BLAZE streaming service in the UK.

The new enhanced service powered by Simplestream significantly increases BLAZE’s content offering. It allows users to access A+E Networks EMEA’s collection of FAST channels – Mystery TV, Inside Crime, History Hunters, Deal Masters, and World War TV- live on any platform and device for a seamless user experience.

Alongside a suite of updated mobile, tablet, and CTV apps, there’s also a new website, which combines the best of BLAZE’s catch-up content with real-time on-air information from our collection of FAST channels. The website has been developed in-house by A+E Networks EMEA, using Simplestream’s APIs for the live programme information.

BLAZE, a factual entertainment channel in the UK, is A+E Networks EMEA’s first free-to-air brand. It launched in the UK market in September 2016 as a TV Everywhere (TVE) service, offering live streaming and catch-up viewing on mobile and tablet devices for iOS and Android, powered by Simplestream.

Due to the two companies’ long-standing relationship and the success of the first project, A+E Networks EMEA has again turned to Simplestream to deliver these new services. The renewed agreement provides the BLAZE streaming service with Connected TV apps on LG, Samsung, and VIDAA, supporting live channels and on-demand content using Simplestream’s App Platform, an out-of-the-box product designed to streamline the launch of premium video services.
The new applications – an addition to the existing apps for iOS, Android, Fire TV, and tvOS – will showcase a new look and feel for the channel and a new visual identity across all devices.

Simplestream’s Chief Commercial Officer, Dan Finch, said, “It’s exciting to build on the success of the BLAZE digital service by doubling down on the offering. Mid-rolls on the broadcast feed and a raft of new FAST channels coming to the apps will provide Blaze with a more compelling solution than ever with live, FAST, and VOD. A hybrid CSAI and SSAI approach, together with Sky Media, will allow Blaze to be even more successful going forward.”

The enhanced functionality is combined with the integration that Simplestream successfully implemented with Sky Media—the exclusive ad provider for the BLAZE service—to bring high-quality Clearcast ads to digital.

Julie Mitchelmore, VP of Digital at A+E Networks EMEA, added: “We’re delighted to enhance the offering on our BLAZE streaming service with even more choices for viewers who want to enjoy the very best entertainment.”

James Hall, Head of Web at A+E Networks EMEA, said: “The new blaze.tv website will be the ultimate destination for mystery solvers and deal hunters alike. We’re proud to have built an amazing new online offering in-house for BLAZE, working closely with Simplestream to provide feature-parity, no matter what device you want to watch our channels on. FAST and VOD content will sit side-by-side, providing web visitors with more content to watch than ever before.”

A+E Networks EMEA’s FAST channels will be available on the BLAZE streaming service from May 2024.

In addition to BLAZE’s favourite programming, such as Ancient Aliens, The Course of Oak Island, and Hardcore Pawn, BLAZE viewers will enjoy six free channels with a mix of true crime, mysteries, wheeling and dealing, and history.
A+E Networks EMEA’s BLAZE streaming service is available on Google Play and App Store.

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