In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Viacom channels come to fubo TV, Comet and 24/7 Live Stadium Channel join Sling TV, Hulu's live TV catches up with DirecTV Now, Spectrum to offer $15/month streaming service, Roku shares soar on earnings beat and strong streaming growth, Weather Channel's Local Now partners with Thrillist for lifestyle content, Netflix Original Content leads customer-satisfaction survey, and more!
"Viacom reached a distribution deal with FuboTV," reports Variety, "which will soon add an array of the conglomerate's networks — including Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon — to its live TV internet streaming service." Viacom channels are already available on Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and Philo.
Sling TV announced the addition of Comet and Stadium to the channel line-up on both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue base services. According to Sling, "Whether you're a sci-fi nerd or a sports fanatic, these new channels are sure to entertain, and best of all, we've added them to both of our base services. If you’re a Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue subscriber, you'll automatically see Comet and the 24/7 live Stadium channel in your Sling TV channel guide."
Comet offers popular favorites, cult classics and undiscovered gems, including shows like "Andromeda,” "Men Into Space" and "Stargate SG-1." Stadium is a 24/7 live feed featuring live sports, game highlights and original studio programming, including shows like "The Territory," "Emerge" and "Gametime in America."
FieceVideo reports on a conclusion by TDG Research that "Hulu with Live TV has now caught up with DirecTV Now, which ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with 1.59 million subscribers." However, "Dish’s Sling TV still has the highest number of subscribers among vMVPDs. The service ended 2018 with 2.42 million subscribers after adding 47,000 during the fourth quarter."
Charter Communications announced that "it will launch Spectrum TV Essentials, an innovative internet delivered over-the-top (OTT) video service, to be made available exclusively in Charter's footprint to Spectrum Internet customers who don't already subscribe to Spectrum video services. Launching by the end of March, Spectrum TV Essentials will include more than 60 live popular lifestyle, entertainment and news channels, and access to all of the associated On Demand content these networks make available."
According to Digital Trends, "You can only sign up for Spectrum TV Essentials if you're a Spectrum internet customer, but if you do, you'll have access to the content via the free Spectrum TV app, for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung smart TVs, and computers via the Spectrum TV website." The service reportedly will cost $15 per month.
"While severe fourth-quarter losses for DirecTV Now may have led some to believe that the once fast-growing virtual pay TV sector was in its fifteenth minute of fame, these services now control an ever-larger marketshare of U.S. pay TV homes," says Multichannel news. "According to BTIG Research, there were around 7.7 million subscribers to Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu+ Live TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, fuboTV and other live-streamed pay TV bundles at the end of 2018. With linear pay TV subscriptions declining to 79.6 million at the end of Q4, vMVPDs controlled nearly 10% of the U.S. pay TV market."
Reporting on Roku's fourth quarter 2018 earnings that beat analyst estimates, CNBC said that shares of Roku jumped 25 percent Friday. In addition to earnings, CNBC said that "[t]he company reported active account growth of more than 40 percent year-over year, reaching 27.1 million users, and a 69 percent year-over-year jump in streaming hours, now up to 7.3 billion." Also, "Roku plans to invest in advertising, the Roku Channel, Roku TV and international expansion in 2019."
"Weather Channel-owned OTT platform Local Now announced a new partnership with Thrillist this week," reports MediaPost. "The addition of Thrillist to its stable of content partners, which also includes The Associated Press, Curbed, Yelp and SportRadar, will arm Local Now with a new supply of lifestyle content. Thrillist becomes its exclusive provider of food and beverage videos. Thrillist will also offer recommendations for the best places to eat and drink in local U.S markets." Local Now is available on Sling TV and YouTube TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and on iOS and Android apps.
"Netflix is spending more on content than rivals by billions — and its customers continue to give Netflix’s original programming higher marks than the rest of the field," says Variety. "As of Feb. 7, 2019, Netflix customers gave the streamer's original content a score of 81 out of 100, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index." Netflix had a 2-point lead over HBO Now (79), which was followed by Amazon Prime Video (76), Hulu (75), CBS All Access (75), and while YouTube’s originals (72)RokuGuide.com may receive a referral fee for any purchases or subscriptions made through links on this page. See our full FTC Disclosure Statement for more information.