COMMENTARY BY ALAN WOLK

Streaming Services Should Be Part Of Pay TV

Creating an elegant interface that combines streaming services and pay TV services, so that Netflix and NBC both live on the same grid, would go a long way towards improving TV’s user experience. It would also benefit all parties, from networks and MVPDs to streaming services. But most of all, it would benefit the consumer.

What Surprised Showtime After Streaming

One discovery: many subscribers are opting to stream the network’s live feed, instead of seeking out on-demand programming. “The livestreaming has done better than we expected,” said President David Nevins of the feature, something which HBO Now doesn’t offer. “As people are discovering Showtime, a lot of them just want to see what’s on the livestreaming, so they’re watching it there.”

Local TV Creates Hurdle To Streaming

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that big broadcast TV networks and their affiliates are wrangling over which of them will be the ones to negotiate with the new generation of direct-to-consumer streaming services and what each side’s split should be. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

Cord-Cutters To Get More NFL Streaming

CBS will stream seven of its games live without requiring the viewer to authenticate that they have an account with a cable or satellite television provider. The CBS games available online can be watched not only on a computer but also on connected TV devices, such as Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku players.

Netflix To Add TV Series, Films For Teenagers

The streaming service will introduce exclusive films and television series as part of a strategy to position itself as a digital entertainment hub for the postmillennial generation.

Sesame-HBO Deal Sparks Soul-Searching

The Aug. 13 announcement that HBO will premiere new episodes of Sesame Street, which will then be made available to PBS after nine months has prompted soul-searching among public broadcasters and others who recalled Sesame Street’s groundbreaking role in using free over-the-air broadcasts to teach preschoolers from low-income families the basic skills they need to succeed in school.

MLB, Fox Break Impasse In Streaming Talks

Local streaming is coming to many Major League Baseball markets next season, thanks to a breakthrough in the league’s long-running negotiations with Fox Sports. Several industry sources say the league is drafting deal documents with Fox, which holds the local media rights to 15 MLB teams. An agreement to offer authenticated local streaming of live games is expected to be in place by the start of the 2016 season.

Vertical Video Gaining Traction

Contrary to an early torrent of naysayers, users aren’t troubled by vertical video, and many actually prefer it to horizontal options. The shift “shows off the way that opinions of tech elites can be rendered moot by mainstream preferences,” and we may be seeing a lot more videos shot vertically soon.

A New Location For ‘Sesame Street’

In a surprise move, the kids’ series heads to HBO. New episodes will air on longtime carrier PBS nine months later. The most significant part of the deal: Streaming rights.

Fusion Looks Outside The (Cable) Box

For Fusion, it’s all about building an audience. That’s why the digital media company and cable TV network today announced a new app on the over-the-top streaming service Roku.

TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR

Hulu’s Originals To Be Released Weekly

Hulu doesn’t want its subscribers to find themselves in a TV coma, so it’s opting to release its upcoming original series in weekly episodes. “With all of our new originals, we will release episodes weekly,” Craig Erwich, head of content at Hulu says. “We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week. Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television.”

MLB In $600M Pact For NHL TV, Streaming

Q&A WITH SETH GEIGER

Millennials Barely Watch Regular TV

A new study finds that just 18% of their television time is spent viewing live broadcast or cable. The majority of their viewing is done on digital devices. SmithGeiger’s Seth Geiger talks about the results.

Netflix Streamlines Its Old Business

Instead of ignoring its DVD-by-mail operation that was dwindling but still bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year, the company concentrated on efficiency.

Apple Explores ‘Special Occasion’ Streaming

Apple has been chatting up broadcast network groups to get them on board its Internet-enabled streaming TV service. Another thing it wants, according to our tipsters, is a new free-of-charge channel concept created from, say, library stock.

Japan TV Nets To Launch TVer OTT Platform

Japan’s five Tokyo-based commercial TV networks will jointly launch a service to stream their new shows on the Internet, starting in October. Called TVer, the service will offer the shows, including popular variety and drama programs, free of charge with commercials generating revenue. Each network will supply about 10 shows weekly and each show will be streamed for about one week.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Netfilx Delivers Strong 2Q, Adds 3.3M Subs

Netflix’s second-quarter performance followed a familiar script of rapid subscriber growth that has enthralled investors. Netflix added 3.3 million subscribers in the April-to-June period, giving it more than 65 million, a reach of around half the nation’s 123 million households.

Cutting The Cord While Keeping The Bundle

Sahil Patel looks at Comcast’s announcement on Monday that it will debut a new Web-based option, Stream, and finds it’s a clever test of OTT distribution while actually keeping the bundle intact (the service is available only to Comcast’s Internet subscribers). “As much as the TV business is forced to adapt and change, it’s trying equally hard to keep what it can intact,” he writes.

Comcast Offers Its Web Alternative To Cable

At first, Comcast’s Stream service will be offered in three cities and include programs from about a dozen networks. The $15-a-month service, which will provide access to live and on-demand programming, reflects a mainstream cable company’s effort to stay relevant as streaming grows in popularity.

Netflix Use Up, Doesn’t Impact Pay TV

Netflix may have very little effect on traditional pay TV business — at least according to a new study. In contrast to many industry estimates, The Diffusion Group found that cable, satellite and IPTV use among Netflix homes declined only marginally between 2012 and 2015.

7 Things To Know About Millennials & Video

The results of a new survey on the use of original digital video challenge the assumptions commonly made by many, typically older, media executives about how young people choose, watch and share this video. Here are the seven things they need to know about this importance audience.

TV Streaming Rises As Digital Usage Grows

Nearly 30% of all TV viewing — subscription, free video sites, connected TV devices — comes via digital streaming, according to a new survey. Subscription or free online platforms for a computer or mobile device account for 16% of time spent with TV content, according to a new GfK MRI report. Connected TV streaming — traditional TV set — amount to 9%; and 3% comes from game consoles and other platforms.

TiVo Offers Deal To Ex-Aereo Customers

TiVo has launched a promo for ex-Aereo customers that gives them a Roamio OTA box, a TiVo Stream and two years of service for no money down and $20 per month.

Big Question: Will Netflix Ever Run Ads?

It’s the biggest threat to traditional TV among digital options. Though it has thrived as a subscription service, many buyers see the addition of advertising as inevitable.

Showtime Has Launched Its Streaming Service

The OTT era has begun at Showtime. The premium cable network launched its new stand-alone streaming service Tuesday. The service, which is also called Showtime, is available for $10.99 per month via Apple, Roku, PlayStation Vue and Showtime.com. Hulu subscribers can add Showtime at a discounted rate, for $8.99 per month, on top of Hulu’s $7.99 monthly fee.

Classic TV In Demand On Streaming Sites

Vintage shows and films, from ’60s sitcoms to British TV favorites to Charlie Chaplin movies, are finding a new audience on sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

Lifetime To Launch Movie Streaming Service

Lifetime will soon launch the Lifetime Movie Club, a Web streaming service of its signature melodramatic movies. The service will feature a rotating pool of 30 movies for $3.99 a month, refreshing the selections every week.

What You Should Know About NFL’s Streaming Test

Rhinobird.tv Merging Live Video, Social Media

Rhinobird.tv, a video streaming service that says it “brings together the power of live video, the reach of broadcast and the connection of social media,” is now available as a public beta. Unlike many apps born from Silicon Valley startups packed with big VC investments and exit speculations, Rhinobird.tv  says it comes from a group […]

Hulu Hooks Up With Showtime

Arena Football, FilmOn Sign Streaming Deal

The Arena Football League has signed a one-year partnership with IP-delivered digital television platform FilmOn Networks that will make the service the official provider of international Arena Football. This is gives the AFL access to FilmOn’s 47 million monthly unique users outside of the United States.

Alibaba To Launch Netflix-Style Streaming In China

PBS Launches Video App For Android

PBS has brought its mobile app to Android, giving Android users access to full episodes of shows like Frontline,  PBS Newshour, Masterpiece, Nova and Call the Midwife. The new app also comes with Google Cast support, allowing users to beam their shows to their TV, provided it’s equipped with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick or any Android TV streaming device.

Shield Console Hopes To Rival Apple TV

Nvidia’s first living room entertainment console went on sale Thursday, and the company is putting in all its chips on Google’s Android TV platform. Indeed, one of the more intriguing features of the Shield, Nvidia’s new combination ultra-high-definition smart TV and game device, is a Live Channels app that lets viewers watch over-the-air TV stations through their home Wi-Fi network. That feature could attract cord-cutters — generally younger viewers who have stopped paying for or never had a standard cable or satellite TV subscription.

Backlash Brewing Against Binge Viewing

“I miss having people on the same page,” says Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan as Hulu and Yahoo back away from all-at-once streaming just as NBC experiments with Aquarius.

Sports Streaming Sparks TV Rights Debate

Television, with its ever-escalating contracts, increasingly finds itself competing against new technologies such as live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat that threaten to disrupt the entire business model.

Apps Threaten TV’s Hold On Live Sports

Fans have long shunned piracy of live sporting events in favor of gathering around the TV, but now live-streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat threaten TV’s golden egg. That stunning recognition arrived this past weekend when droves of boxing fans skipped the $100 pay-per-view fee and watched the much-anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao free Saturday evening.

PLAYOUT

3Play Media Publishes Closed Caption Resources

Amazon Prime Members Stream Free On JetBlue

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon wants to give JetBlue passengers a new option for tuning out that crying baby or talkative seat neighbor. The e-commerce company will let members of Amazon’s $99 annual loyalty program Prime stream its instant video service for free on their Wi-Fi enabled devices via JetBlue’s inflight Wi-Fi service. JetBlue is […]

Boxing Sucker Punched By Internet Streamers

The broadcast of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas popped up, unauthorized, on new services like Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat, where people used the video function on their smartphones to relay the broadcast directly to the Internet. It’s a sign of how common piracy is in the entertainment industry and how difficult it is to contain.