Amazon’s Ring and MGM will launch a show based on viral doorbell videos

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Amazon-owned companies — Ring and Hollywood studio MGM — are teaming up to create a TV show in the mold of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” using viral footage of Ring’s doorbell and cameras smart.

The half-hour show, titled “Ring Nation,” will be hosted by actor and comedian Wanda Sykes and premier in syndication on Sept. 26, MGM said.

The studio noted that audiences should expect to see the usual things that go viral — marriage proposals, neighbors saving neighbors, and silly animals.

The series features Amazon’s merging of its various business arms, this time to highlight what MGM called “interesting moments from communities across the country.”

“You have a business that owns two behemoths and (just) figured out how to leverage one against the other,” said Robert Passikoff, president of brand research firm Brand Keys. He noted that unlike scripted movies or shows, a reality series using Ring footage will likely be cheaper to produce.

The show also features a branding opportunity for the Seattle-based e-commerce and retail giant, which bought Ring in 2018 for $1 billion and has dealt with a series of privacy issues surrounding Ring and its its relationship with police departments across the country.

Last month, Amazon revealed it had provided Ring doorbell footage to law enforcement 11 times this year without user permission – all in response to emergency requests, according to the company. .

MGM, which Amazon bought for $8.5 billion, said in a statement Thursday that “Ring Nation” will provide audiences with “a daily dose of unpredictable, heartwarming and hilarious viral life videos” shared by people since their cameras.

“Many of them have already been shared online,” said Amazon spokesperson Nick Schweers. “Others were sent directly to the team.” Ring Nation secures the releases for each video from the owner and anyone identifiable in the video, or companies that own the rights to the clips, he said.

Amazon’s deal to buy MGM was reached earlier this year, though the Federal Trade Commission said it still retains discretion to challenge it. Big Fish Entertainment, a production company owned by MGM, will also be part of the partnership.