Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

Venu Sports (pronounced “venue”) has been selected as the name of the new streaming joint venture launching this fall from Disney/ESPN, Fox Corporation and Warner Bros. Discovery. Although pricing has yet to be announced (some estimate it will run $40-$50 per month), the partners are underway in branding their bundled package, unveiled in February as an effort to reach sports fans who don’t already subscribe to pay TV. In March the group announced the new venture’s CEO would be Pete Distad, who spent six years at Hulu followed by a decade at Apple in positions including running global distribution and business ops for Apple TV+. Continue reading Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

YouTube, Comscore Integrate Campaign Ratings with Shorts

Comscore and YouTube have expanded their partnership by integrating Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR) with YouTube Shorts and In-Feed inventory, making available a range of additional ad data specific to those outlets, across connected TV, mobile and desktop. In the months ahead, the toolkit will also add measurement of Masthead inventory. YouTube has been connected to CCR for standard video inventory and YouTube TV since Q4 2021. YouTube Shorts is a fast-growing part of the Google-owned video ecosystem, averaging over 70 billion daily views, according to YouTube and Comscore. Continue reading YouTube, Comscore Integrate Campaign Ratings with Shorts

Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

Apple Sports is a new free app for iPhones that delivers real-time scores, stats and more via a GUI designed by Apple. Available to download from the App Store in the U.S., Canada and UK, the app currently tracks Major League Soccer, Premier League soccer, the National Basketball Association, men’s and women’s NCAA basketball, and the National Hockey League, among others. More sports will be added over time, Apple said, mentioning Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The concept is designed to keep fans continuously connected to their favorite teams while driving Apple TV tune-in. Continue reading Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

Nielsen: TV Viewership Hits Four-Year High Led by YouTube

The NFL playoffs coupled with heavy streaming and the return of scripted broadcast programming sent January television viewership to a four-year high, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge, which charted a 1.4 percent viewership increase year-over-year — described as noteworthy in a month in which the NFL playoffs typically drive viewership higher. January 2024 included three of the top 10 highest-viewership TV days since The Gauge debuted in May 2021. YouTube continued its streaming dominance for the twelfth consecutive month, with 8.6 percent of January TV streaming viewership, according to The Gauge. Netflix was number two at 7.9 percent. Continue reading Nielsen: TV Viewership Hits Four-Year High Led by YouTube

Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

FOX, Warner Bros. Discovery and The Walt Disney Company through its subsidiary ESPN are finalizing plans to form a new, multi-league sports streaming service expected to launch this fall. The direct-to-consumer offering would be made available via a new app and subscriptions could also be bundled with existing services like Disney+, Hulu and Max. The media companies launching the joint venture — who will each have one-third ownership of the new platform — have yet to announce a name or pricing model, but said content will be “from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports.” Continue reading Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Amazon this week began serving advertising to Prime Video customers who did not elect to pay an additional $2.99 per month in addition to the basic annual Prime membership of $139 per year or $14.99 per month. Adding commercials is estimated to potentially bring in more than $3 billion a year for Amazon, which is expected to have 2023 revenue of around $567 billion. The surplus will come in handy to pay out $1 billion a year over 11 years for the rights to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.” The ad-supported Prime Video service launches in the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany, with Mexico, France, Italy, Spain and Australia following later in the year. Continue reading Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Pluto Intros Limited-Time ‘NFL Super Bowl Classics’ Channel

Paramount Global’s Pluto TV free streaming television service is adding a pop-up channel for NFL fans for the weeks leading up to Super Bowl LVIII on CBS. The new programming joins an NFL channel that Pluto TV launched in 2019 to showcase game coverage with news, replays and original shows. Airing 24/7 through February 21, the “NFL Super Bowl Classics” channel will feature past Super Bowl games and specials. Viewers can find the channel on the Pluto TV app or connected TV devices in the Sports category. Game replays will stream sequentially with specials and docuseries interspersed. Continue reading Pluto Intros Limited-Time ‘NFL Super Bowl Classics’ Channel

Amazon Prime Video to Run TV Commercials Early Next Year

Amazon Prime Video plans to introduce commercial breaks to its popular streaming service early next year, following top platforms such as Disney+, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max, which already offer ad-supported tiers. The company indicates it will run fewer ads than traditional linear TV broadcasters and broadband rivals but has yet to specify numbers. Subscribers in the U.S. who want to keep the streaming service ad-free have the option of paying an additional $2.99 per month. Amazon explained that its strategy to include ads would help it “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.” Continue reading Amazon Prime Video to Run TV Commercials Early Next Year

Amazon Integrating AI to Modernize NFL Viewing Experience

Amazon is using artificial intelligence to change the way viewers experience “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video this season. Now in the second year of its 10-year NFL deal, Amazon joins Disney’s ESPN in using AI to change how people experience televised sports by parsing a variety of analytics and using machine learning to interpret 2D video into 3D for a variety of viewpoints on any play. Amazon is auto-generating highlights feeds for each game, so late arrivals can catch up. September 14 marks the debut of the new AI Prime features and the games in 1080p HDR. Continue reading Amazon Integrating AI to Modernize NFL Viewing Experience

NFL+ Boosts Prices as It Bundles with NFL Network, RedZone

The National Football League is raising the price of its streaming service, NFL+, now in year two, as live streams of the NFL Network and NFL RedZone cable channels are becoming part of the package. Cost of the premium plan will be $14.99 a month (or $99.99 per year), up 50 percent from $9.99, with the bundled NFL Network and its exclusive regular-season games, and fan-favorite RedZone, which carries live action from all Sunday afternoon games. A subscription to NFL+ with only the NFL Network added will increase 40 percent to $6.99 per month (or $49.99 per year), from $4.99. The changes will coincide with the start of the new season on September 10. Continue reading NFL+ Boosts Prices as It Bundles with NFL Network, RedZone

AWS, Advertising Drive Amazon to 11 Percent Revenue Gain

Amazon’s AWS cloud-computing unit generated $22.1 billion in Q2, a 12 percent year-over-year gain that was a highlight in a strong quarter for the e-commerce giant. The company generated a total of $134.4 billion in revenue for the period ending in June, an 11 percent increase over the prior year. Advertising was also strong, jumping 22 percent to $10.68 billion. Cost-cutting and rebounding e-commerce helped propel the Seattle-based company to a quarterly profit of $6.75 billion (its strongest performance since Q4 2021), which contrasted sharply with a loss in the same period last year. Continue reading AWS, Advertising Drive Amazon to 11 Percent Revenue Gain

Amazon Explores Launching Ad-Supported Prime Video Tier

Amazon may be further leveraging its enviable position with Madison Avenue by launching an ad-supported Prime Video tier. The move makes sense given Amazon’s surging ad revenue from online sales. The company also owns the FAST service Freevee. Amazon’s ad savvy runs deep, and reports suggest the e-commerce giant is also in discussions with Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global to package the ad-supported versions of Max and Paramount+ under the Prime Video Channels banner. The news comes on the eve of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the global marketing elite. Continue reading Amazon Explores Launching Ad-Supported Prime Video Tier

Amazon Offers New Ad Model for Thursday Night NFL Games

Amazon is offering advertisers a unique marketing opportunity within “Thursday Night Football,” inviting them to take advantage of new streaming tech by programming different creative messages within the same 30-second slot. “For the first time in NFL history, fans across the country will no longer view the same national commercials while enjoying live coverage provided by Prime Video on Fire TV devices,” Amazon said at the NewFronts. For example, an automotive brand could promote sports cars to younger adults, SUVs to outdoor enthusiasts and a general spot for everyone else — all in the same 30-second window. Continue reading Amazon Offers New Ad Model for Thursday Night NFL Games

Peacock Now Streaming VR Content on Meta Quest Headsets

Peacock struck a deal with Meta Platforms that will allow its subscribers to view movies, TV shows and sports in virtual reality on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro headsets. That includes MLB and NFL games, “all in VR on your own giant, personal screen.” VR will be available to all Peacock subscribers, starting with the ad-subsidized $4.99 per month Premium tier, but those who sign-up with a qualifying Quest 2 or Quest Pro before April 11, 2024 will be eligible to receive Peacock Premium for 12 months at no additional cost. Those who had qualifying Meta headsets registered on or before April 11, 2023 will be eligible for three free months of Peacock Premium. Continue reading Peacock Now Streaming VR Content on Meta Quest Headsets

Apple Reportedly Allocates $1 Billion for Theatrical Releases

Apple plans to spend $1 billion a year on theatrical release films, according to Bloomberg, which say the move is “part of an ambitious effort to raise its profile in Hollywood and lure subscribers to its streaming service.” The films will reportedly play in theaters for at least one month before debuting on Apple TV+. Martin Scorsese’s crime drama “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ridley Scott’s historical drama “Napoleon,” are among the Apple-funded projects expected to be released in “thousands of theaters,” though Apple still hasn’t finalized distribution arrangements. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Allocates $1 Billion for Theatrical Releases