In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: MLB.TV is on Prime Video Channels, new live and linear channels on The Roku Channel, 'Subscription Fatigue’ sets in, ESPN+ acquires Copa América rights, Netflix Originals outpace acquired titles, The Criterion Channel announces launch lineup, Comcast has a new streaming box for cord cutters, streaming video has surpassed cable subscriptions worldwide, and more!
Amazon announced the launch of MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels, allowing Prime members to subscribe to MLB.TV and stream regular season out-of-market baseball games live and on-demand through the Prime Video service. "Baseball fans can cheer on their favorite teams with MLB.TV on the Prime Video app across hundreds of devices, including compatible TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes and other connected devices... MLB.TV will work seamlessly in Prime Video, with no additional apps to download or passwords to remember." Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99/month, or a one-time payment of $118.99 for a Season Pass, after a 7-day free trial. More information can be found here.
A recent Roku blog post announced the addition of nine new live and linear channels to The Roku Channel:
- The Asylum – Get committed to danger, action & excitement! Get committed to The Asylum Movie Channel! Featuring blockbuster entertainment like San Andreas Quake and 100 Million BC.
- FilmRise Classic TV – Catch six decades of primetime smash hits like 3rd Rock from the Sun, 21 Jump Street and Batman all day long
- FilmRise Cooking – Get your fill of cutthroat contests, culinary cookalongs, and delicious drama from shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.
- FilmRise Crime– The best Crime TV to satisfy the sleuths among us.
- FilmRise Family – Enjoy a family movie any time with classic comedies like Ernest in the Army or adventure series like Dinotopia.
- FilmRise Free Movies – Catch film stars like Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Zac Efron and more in our massive selection of free blockbusters.
- Food52 – Come on by the Food52 test kitchen. Our award-winning editors and kitchen experts—like Genius Recipes‘s Kristen Miglore and Dear Test Kitchen‘s Josh Cohen—are here to help with dinner tonight, weekend meal prep, cookie emergencies, you name it.
- Tastemade – Planning your next adventure abroad or at home? Tastemade shows you how it’s done. Whether expanding your palate or your itinerary, Tastemade presents even more of the things you love. Hundreds of hours of original shows, streaming straight to you.
- The Works by MGM – The Works: free contemporary classic movies. A selection of movies from deep within MGM’s legendary catalogue.
"Nearly half of consumers are frustrated by streaming overload," claims AdWeek. Reporting on Deloitte's 13th edition of its Digital Media Trends survey, AdWeek says that "Nearly half of those surveyed, at 47 percent, said they are frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services to watch their shows. And this audience grows attached to the content: 57 percent of consumers said it frustrates them when shows and movies disappear from their streaming libraries."
"Popular streaming service ESPN+ has acquired the English-language and Portuguese-language rights to the 2019 CONMEBOL Copa América for viewers in the United States," according to a World Soccer Talk source. "All 26 games will be broadcast live in English and Portuguese."
"Illustrating the strategy Netflix executives have long articulated — and pointing to a wider gap between the company and its rivals — a new report shows that for the first time most new releases coming to the platform are originals," according to a Deadline report on a study from Ampere. "Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos has said the company has been moving in this direction for six years. The need to prepare for the reality of fewer titles being made available to license is 'a corner that I’m glad we saw around a few years ago,' Sarandos said in January during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. 'And today, I'd say the vast majority of the content that is watched on Netflix are our original content brands.'"
The Criterion Channel launches on April 8, and Criterion has announced the first month's lineup. "The April calendar of thematic programming highlights an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary films from Hollywood and around the world, many not streaming anywhere else." The new streaming service will host the Criterion Collection and Janus Films' library of over 1,000 feature films, 350 shorts, and 3,500 supplementary features such as trailers, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and interviews. "The Criterion Channel will launch in the U.S. and Canada and will be available on desktop browsers as well as through apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android and Android TV devices."
"Comcast is making it easier for its broadband-only customers to access streaming video without an outside set-top box," reports CNBC. "For $5 per month, Comcast will give its internet-only customers a connected box to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming applications, eschewing the need for a separately purchased device such as a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV." The device will be called Flex and will only be available to Comcast internet customers. "Flex won't include livestreaming services that compete with Comcast, such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now, said Matt Strauss, executive vice president, Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable, on a media conference call." Strauss also said that pricing could change in the future.
Summarizing a report from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), TheVerge says that "the world’s entertainment market — encompassing both theatrical and home releases — grew to a new high in 2018: $96.8 billion, 9 percent over 2017. In particular, it highlighted the rapid growth of streaming video, which grew to 613 million subscriptions worldwide, an increase of 27 percent over 2017... Specifically, 'digital home entertainment was the driver of growth.' US digital sales grew by 24 percent, while international digital sales grew by 34 percent. At the same time, physical releases dropped in the US and internationally by 15 and 14 percent, respectively. "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.