A+E Networks EMEA taps Simplestream for Blaze FAST expansion

A+E Networks EMEA has tapped technology provider Simplestream to provide a upgrade to its Blaze streaming service in the UK. 

The enhanced service powered by Simplestream increases Blaze’s content offering, allowing 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 updated mobile, tablet, and CTV apps, A+E Networks EMEA has also created a new website, which combines the best of Blaze’s catch-up content with real-time on-air information from its 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.

A+E Networks EMEA’s FAST channels will be available on the Blaze streaming service from this month.

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 service, offering live streaming and catch-up viewing on mobile and tablet devices for iOS and Android, again powered by Simplestream.

A+E Networks EMEA again turned to Simplestream to deliver its new services, providing the Blaze streamer with connected TV apps on LG, Samsung, and  VIDAA, supporting live channels and on-demand content using Simplestream’s App Platform.

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, according to A+E.

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

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.”

Julie Mitchelmore, VP of digital at A+E Networks EMEA, said: “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.”


Read Next