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Upcoming Slate of Original Content Includes New Sports Docu-series ‘Promiseland’ and ‘Vince Carter: Legacy’, Featuring Respectively Ja Morant and Vince Carter, and The Unscripted Show ‘Inside the Black Box’, Which Explores the Role Race Plays In The Entertainment Industry
Publishing Megabrand ‘Chicken Soup for The Soul’ To Bring Its Original Mission Of “Changing the World One Story at The Time” To A New Streaming Network In The Fall
Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) company and one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) networks, made multiple announcements today during its NewFronts presentation, including a diverse new slate of original and exclusive programming, and the launch of a new Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD network.
Crackle Plus has more than doubled its content offerings on its AVOD networks Crackle and Popcornflix, and added over 200 hours of original and exclusive programming in the past year.
As part of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Crackle Plus uniquely sources its original content from sister companies Screen Media Ventures, a leading content distribution company, Landmark Studio Group, a production company of premium scripted and unscripted content, and recently announced Halcyon Television led by industry veteran David Ellender.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, also recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the film and television assets of Sonar Entertainment, Inc. (Sonar). The Sonar library includes 700 movies and 1800 TV episodes which have earned a total of 446 Emmy Nominations, 104 Emmy Awards and 15 Golden Globes. The Sonar assets will expand Crackle Plus original television content offering and position the company to launch additional AVOD networks as well as provide a faster path to growing its international presence.
The combination of movie exclusives and original unscripted content propelled Crackle to one of its best years ever. Exclusive AVOD titles Crown Vic, Grand Isle and Elliott: The Littlest Reindeer were popular amongst Crackle viewers, delivering #1 titles for the streaming service. Standout inspiring unscripted series included Road to Race Day, On Point, Anything is Possible: The Serge Ibaka Story and Bucket List.
“Crackle has been pioneering original programming on AVOD for nearly a decade,” said Jeff Meier, head of programming for Crackle Plus. “We’ve always believed in the combined power of originals and a strong, diverse library of content that keep viewers coming back for more.”
With original unscripted programming, sports docu-series and exclusive feature films, Crackle has built a deep pipeline of unique, diverse and inspiring new content to entertain and empower its viewers. At NewFronts, Crackle Plus shared its plans to develop and produce new and returning original series and feature films with diverse storylines and audiences in mind. These include:
Unscripted and documentaries
Following award-winning original series, Going From Broke, critically-acclaimed film After the Murder of Albert Lima and electrifying docu-series Playing with Power: The Nintendo Story, Crackle returns with a diverse slate of unscripted shows and documentaries for 2021:
Going From Broke
Season two of Going From Broke is executive produced by Ashton Kutcher and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Premiering Thursday, May 20, co-hosts Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg, and Tonya Rapley, entrepreneur, help people facing extreme debt overcome crippling financial struggles to become CEOs of their own lives.
Riding Phat follows the hectic entrepreneurial journey of the Phat Scooter company as they strive to become the nation’s top electric scooter company by designing, building, and delivering eye-catching scooters to fun-seeking pro athletes and celebrity clients including NASCAR great Michael Waltrip, NFL legend Tedy Bruschi, and NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.
The Uncommon History of Very Common Things
Did you know that scissors were invented by Leonardo da Vinci? That high heels date back to Ancient Egypt? And what do chocolate bars have to do with the invention of the microwave oven? Each half-hour episode of The Uncommon History of Very Common Things examines the unknown, sometimes shocking, often irreverent, and always entertaining history of the everyday items that make up our lives.
Inside the Black Box
Created and hosted by beloved acting coach Tracey Moore and Emmy-winning actor Joe Morton, Inside the Black Box spotlights the world’s greatest Black artists within the entertainment industry. From actors, producers and directors to writers and musicians, the series features A-list guests like Sherri Shepherd, Kerry Washington and Tamara Tunie. Each episode is filled with revealing conversations on trials and triumphs, performance workshops, and honest discussions about being Black in Hollywood.
On Point, Crackle’s most-watched series of 2020, and Bucket List hosted by Brian “The Boz” Bosworth, evidenced the strong demand for sports docu-series. 2021 premieres include:
Vince Carter: Legacy
Vince Carter: Legacy explores the fantastic highs and unsettling lows of 8-time All-Star and slam dunk champion, Vince Carter, as he looks back on his record-breaking 22-season professional basketball career.
The visceral, intimate and all-access coming of age story of 2020 NBA rookie sensation Ja Morant follows him from the eve of his NBA debut, through his Rookie of the Year crowning and shares the amazing experiences of his debut season.
The Green Wave
The Green Wave tells the incredible true comeback story of the Summerville High School basketball team after their coach, Louis Mulkey, a dedicated firefighter, dies in a catastrophic fire.
After a century of excellence, Long Beach Poly, the most storied sports high school in American history, finds itself backed into a wall. The underfunded public school is struggling to maintain dominance in a field that contains million dollar private school programs with players recruited from all across the states. The series follows players and coaches as they set out to prove that Long Beach Poly is still a force to be reckoned with.
Crackle Plus also announced exclusive AVOD streaming rights to premium feature films, including:
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story starring Jim Ballantine and Ed Bell
Skyfire starring Jason Isaacs, Bee Rogers, and Alice Rietveld
The Jesus Rolls starring John Turturro and Bobby Cannavale
Bel Canto starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe
Colonia starring Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl
Senior Moment starring William Shatner and Jean Smart
Trigger Point starring Barry Pepper and Laura Vandervoort
Eat Wheaties starring Tony Hale, Alan Tudyk and Elisha Cuthbert
Cagefighter starring Gina Gershon and Brenna Coates
Launch of Chicken Soup For The Soul AVOD
Crackle Plus announced that the Sonar library will help power the launch of a new ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul” AVOD network in the form of both a linear FAST channel and an On-Demand offering. Having sold over 1 billion copies of its famous self-help books in 43 languages around the world, ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ will offer later this year a free premium-content streaming network that helps people ‘live their best life’ by providing entertainment, inspiration, and information that lifts their health, wealth, spirit, knowledge and relationships. The content will include a large selection of scripted movies and TV shows, unscripted shows and documentaries featuring everyday heroes, and lifestyle programming featuring the best home, food, DIY, style and travel experts.
New Consumer Touch-Points
The company also announced the launch of 34 new consumer distribution touchpoints by the end of 2021, expanding its reach among a growing streaming audience. Crackle Plus linear and VOD networks are already available in the U.S. and can be accessed on 31 devices and services including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.
CRACKLE PLUS, A CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT, INC. COMPANY
Crackle Plus owns and operates ad-supported VOD networks Crackle, Popcornflix and Chicken Soup for the Soul, making it one of the largest AVOD streaming platforms in the U.S. Crackle Plus has AVOD rights to over 11,000 films and 22,000 episodes of television series. Crackle Plus networks premiere at least one original and one exclusive program each month, differentiating it from other AVODs. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) owns Crackle Plus and also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media subsidiary and produces original long and short-form content through Halcyon Television, Landmark Studio Group, its Chicken Soup for the Soul Unscripted division and APlus Productions. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.
ABOUT SCREEN MEDIA VENTURES, LLC
Screen Media Ventures, LLC, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) company, acquires the rights to high quality, independent television series and feature films. Screen Media Ventures acquires worldwide rights for distribution through theatrical, home video, pay-per-view, free, cable and pay television, video-on-demand, and new digital media platforms. The company acquires AVOD rights for third party networks and is the main supplier of content for Crackle Plus and other Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. properties. With a library of over 1,500 television series and motion pictures, Screen Media Ventures is one of the largest independent suppliers of high-quality tv series and motion pictures to U.S. and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and new media venues. For more information, visit www.screenmedia.net.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) operates streaming video-on-demand networks (VOD). The company owns Crackle Plus, which owns and operates a variety of ad-supported and subscription-based VOD networks including Crackle, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix and FrightPix. The company also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media subsidiary and produces original long and short-form content through Landmark Studio Group, its Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals division and APlus.com. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of management and are not predictions of actual performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.