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

Comcast StreamSaver to Bundle Peacock, Netflix, Apple TV+

Comcast broadband and TV customers will be able to subscribe to a streaming bundle that includes Netflix, Apple TV+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced this week at the 2024 MoffettNathanson Media, Internet and Communications Conference in New York. The package, called StreamSaver, will “come at a vastly reduced price to anything in the market today,” Roberts said, though he did not share pricing. Roberts’ plan comes a week after Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery unveiled plans to bundle Max, Disney+ and Hulu starting this summer, with pricing to be announced. Continue reading Comcast StreamSaver to Bundle Peacock, Netflix, Apple TV+

Disney+, Hulu, Max: Streaming Bundle Coming This Summer

Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that a new triple-play streaming bundle that includes popular services Disney+, Hulu and Max will launch this summer in the U.S. with both ad-supported and ad-free plans. “On the heels of the very successful launch of Hulu on Disney+, this new bundle with Max will offer subscribers even more choice and value,” said Joe Earley, president of direct to consumer for Disney Entertainment. While no specific pricing has been revealed, the release promises that “additional details regarding the bundle offer will be shared in the coming months.” Continue reading Disney+, Hulu, Max: Streaming Bundle Coming This Summer

MPA Plans to Enlist Congress in Its Fight Against Movie Piracy

The Motion Picture Association is stepping up its anti-piracy efforts to counter the increasingly sophisticated operations of global intellectual property thieves. The gauntlet was laid down by MPA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin in an address at CinemaCon 2024, where he said the offenders “aren’t teenagers playing an elaborate prank,” but are “real-life mobsters, organized crime syndicates,” responsible for the loss of more than $1 billion at the domestic box office. Rivkin — formerly U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for economic and business affairs — said he will “work with Congress to enact judicial site-blocking legislation here in the United States.” Continue reading MPA Plans to Enlist Congress in Its Fight Against Movie Piracy

FreeWheel Adds Programmatic Ad Buying in Time for Upfronts

Comcast ad tech company FreeWheel is launching a programmatic solution it says will change the way marketers implement their TV ad buying. Called Allocation Module, it is rolling out ahead of the 2024 Upfronts and NewFronts. Central to the new solution is what FreeWheel says is its ability to give marketers more control over their ad spending across various ad channels after it’s been committed. FreeWheel’s Allocation Module “offers demand-side platforms a better way to gauge whether or not they are bidding enough, in real time, to meet their clients’ ad spend commitments,” the company says. Continue reading FreeWheel Adds Programmatic Ad Buying in Time for Upfronts

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

Comcast Makes Its Xumo Boxes Available for One-Time Fee

Comcast is now making Xumo Stream Boxes available to its Xfinity broadband customers. New customers can get one Xumo Box for a $15 activation fee and no monthly charge. Additional units will be billed at $5 per month, the company says. The Xumo Stream Box comes preloaded with hundreds of streaming apps. In addition to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, popular favorites like Disney+, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are on the menu. Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels are also packaged in, with 20 options from Xfinity Stream and more than 300 from Xumo Play. Continue reading Comcast Makes Its Xumo Boxes Available for One-Time Fee

WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

Warner Bros. Discovery will begin adding free live sports to its Max streaming service beginning October 5 as a promotional period. Beginning February 29, 2024, subscribers will be charged an additional $10 per month to keep it as part of the new “Bleacher Report Sports Add-On Tier.” Max streaming sports will include Major League Baseball playoff games, regular-season National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games, U.S. soccer and the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness. The sports fee will be in addition to the subscription price for ad-supported or commercial-free Max. Continue reading WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

Max Will Offer CNN News Content for Its Streaming Audience

Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming platform Max will soon introduce 24/7 live news from CNN as part of an open beta in the U.S. that will experiment with new features and content while seeking feedback from subscribers. CNN Max plans to launch on September 27 with programming from CNN US, CNN International and original programming produced for Max. News programming and original series will be available across all Max packages, which includes Max With Ads, Max Ad-Free and Max Ultimate Ad-Free. The beta test will be evaluated and fine-tuned “before being rolled out more broadly,” according to WBD. Continue reading Max Will Offer CNN News Content for Its Streaming Audience

Publishers Get Behind New Social App to Fund Good Causes

WeAre8 is a different kind of social media platform making its U.S. debut a year after launching in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The socially conscious mobile app prohibits hate speech and pays its users to watch ads. Earned funds can be withdrawn or directed to causes like Save the Children, Feeding America and Water.org. The app prohibits tobacco, big oil and gambling interests from advertising. Backed by publishers including The Independent, Warner Bros. Discovery and LADbible Group, WeAre8 hopes to attract 80 million users in two years. Continue reading Publishers Get Behind New Social App to Fund Good Causes

YouTube TV Will Bundle WBD’s Max with NFL Sunday Ticket

YouTube TV is bundling Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max with its own NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market football package. YouTube parent Google entered into an exclusive, seven-year deal to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket package through YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels, beginning with the 2023 season. Max has become a Sunday Ticket partner as part of a broader deal with WBD that includes getting Google TV behind WBD’s relaunch of HBO as Max. Philipp Schindler, chief business officer for Alphabet and Google, shared news of the promos with analysts during his company’s Q2 earnings call. Continue reading YouTube TV Will Bundle WBD’s Max with NFL Sunday Ticket

NBCUniversal to Introduce Dozens of FAST Channels in July

NBCUniversal has plumbed its vaults to fuel nearly 50 new FAST channels launching in July on Amazon Freevee and the new Xumo Play joint venture from NBCU parent Comcast and Charter Communications. The lineup, taken from NBCU’s Television and Streaming and Global Distribution libraries, includes verticals for “Saturday Night Live,” “Top Chef,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “The Real Housewives,” as well as Spanish-language programs from Telemundo. There are also nostalgia channels featuring “The Lone Ranger,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Murder, She Wrote,” and genre-based streams of comedy, criminality and monsters. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Introduce Dozens of FAST Channels in July

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

Netflix Threatens to Purge Content to Avoid UK Streamer Bill

Netflix says it will preemptively purge its UK library of films and TV shows that run afoul of new streamer regulations being implemented by the British government. UK ministers are calling on media regulator Ofcom to police streaming content as it does traditional broadcasters, which means video-on-demand platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video could face fines of up to $310,000 per instance for hosting “harmful material.” Draft legislation that seeks to codify “due impartiality” for streamers as part of the proposed Media Bill were rebuked by Netflix as “nebulous” and potentially “onerous.” Continue reading Netflix Threatens to Purge Content to Avoid UK Streamer Bill

Comcast’s NOW TV Streams 60 Channels, Peacock Premium

Comcast announced NOW TV this week, a new streaming solution that includes more than 40+ live channels, 20+ integrated FAST channels and a subscription to Peacock Premium, priced at $20 per month for Comcast’s Xfinity Internet customers. NOW TV is designed for “the value-conscious consumer who wants an entertainment product that is simple and convenient with quality programming movies, top shows, live sports, and news,” the company explains. Launching in the coming weeks, NOW’s live cable offerings feature A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Hallmark and Warner Bros. Discovery, among others. Continue reading Comcast’s NOW TV Streams 60 Channels, Peacock Premium