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A+E Networks EMEA Adds FAST Channels to Its BLAZE Streaming Service and Relaunches Website

London, 15/05/2024 - 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 MitchelmoreVP of Digital at A+E Networks EMEAadded: “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 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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Media contacts:

Kate Ford at Jump

Barbara Pianca at A+E Networks EMEA:

About Simplestream

Simplestream is an award-winning and best-in-class provider of next-generation TV solutions to some of the biggest players in the broadcast, publishing, sport, and media industry. Founded in 2010 with headquarters in London, Simplestream supports over 30 customers worldwide in designing, developing, and delivering innovative and design-led solutions that simplify complexity. Simplestream’s suite of products includes Media Manager, the powerful, modular backend to manage content for distribution; App Platform, the out-of-the-box product to launch premium video services with flexible monetisation models; Channel Studio, to create linear live streams from a combination of VOD assets and live events, via an easy-to-use scheduler. Simplestream also provides a range of services and products covering insights and analytics, self-service live events, authentication, and much more. Simplestream provides simplified workflows and cloud-based solutions to industry leaders, including Channel 4, UKTV, A+E Networks, TN Marketing, AMC Networks International, CBS, GB News, News Corp, News UK, Sony, SIS, and QVC.

About A+E Networks EMEA 

At A+E Networks EMEA, we share stories that matter everywhere, anywhere. A leader in factual entertainment, our compelling, award-winning content connects with millions across the UK, Nordics, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Spain, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Our portfolio of premium brands - The HISTORY® Channel, Crime + Investigation®, HISTORY2®, BLAZE®, and COSMO TV® - inspire and excite viewers with hit franchises (Forged in Fire), must-see dramas (Vikings) and original commissions (The Hunt for Baltic Gold and Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter). Our stories are global and local, linear and digital, and always compelling. With offices in London, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Munich, and Johannesburg, we are a truly international company that celebrates difference and diversity. 

About Blaze

BLAZE is an entertainment channel which celebrates people who achieve the extraordinary through determination, courage and a hint of maverick spirit. American by nature, but distinctly British by nurture, it raises the flag for real people who boldly follow their own path.