We’re thrilled to share the news that MHz Choice is featured in the latest issue of Emmy® Magazine (No. 1 Issue 2017)! 

Read an excerpt from the Emmy® Magazine article below.

A Foreign Affair

With its recent launch on Amazon Channels, MHz Choice is cornering the market on international streaming.

Americans’ interest in foreign programming — which many trace back to the 2011 film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — continues to grow, and a recent deal with Amazon Channels is bringing a surge of subscribers to MHz Choice, a subscription-based streaming service featuring new and exclusive international mysteries, dramas and comedies.

“We are getting millions more eyeballs than we could afford to market to,” says Lance Schwulst, vice-president of content strategy for MHz Choice, of the pact that lets consumers add MHz to their Amazon Prime account. “Plus, Amazon has over five years of experience when it comes to promoting top shows, and our customer base is a subset of theirs — it’s a win-win for both parties.”

While MHz Choice has previously been available on Apple products, Android and Roku, none of them have the reach of Amazon Channels, which is in approximately half of all U.S. households. “In terms of Amazon’s scale,” observes Frederick Thomas, CEO of MHz Networks, “it does feel a bit like we cut down a tree, made our own surfboard, then headed into 100-foot swells.”

MHz Choice launched in 2015, but its key players have been well versed in international programming since the late ‘90s, when the service first appeared on MHz Networks, a Virginia–based non-commercial broadcaster that serves the Washington, D.C., area and thirty-plus affiliates throughout the U.S.

“I’ve always been an internationalist by design, and when I first came to the station in 1993, I decided to give it that slant,” Thomas says. What started with acquiring classic foreign films — the first screening (and pledge drive) featured The Seventh Samurai — soon blossomed into regular programming. “It proved that there was an audience for this and that they were also willing to pay a little bit of money to get it.”

With the wealth of international TV series out there, it was only natural to start airing them; Schwulst now makes annual pilgrimages to Cannes and MIPDoc, as well as to smaller events in France, Germany and Scandinavia.

As a result, MHz Networks is the top acquirer of foreign-language content in the U.S. One of its first hits — still its most popular — is Detective Montalbano, an Italian series set on the island of Sicily and based on a series of novels by Andrea Camilleri.

“We were the first international broadcaster [MHz] worked with,” says Bruce Rabinowitz, sales executive in North and South America for RAI, Italy’s national public broadcast company.

“A lot of the content we acquire is based on a literary series, like Detective Montalbano, Beck and Wallander,” explains Schwulst, whose book-based content also includes Arne Dahl (Sweden), Baantjer Mysteries (the Netherlands) and Inspector and the Sea (Germany). [ more ]

Read full article at Emmy® Magazine online

MHz Choice Trailer