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Cordcutter News Brief - Antenna users should rescan channels, new OTA subchannel network to launch, man scammed out of $13k by fake Roku tech support, and more!

July 27, 2018 - 18:23 -- RokuGuide

Cordcutter News BriefsIn this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Antenna users should rescan their channels, new OTA network to launch on CBS station subchannels, fake Roku tech support scams man out of $13k, Verizon seeking Google or Apple as streaming TV provider, HGTV and Food Network may be bundled into a new streaming service, exodus from pay TV accelerates, everything coming to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in August 2018, and more!

Many TV stations are moving to new broadcast frequencies, so antenna users should rescan to keep getting free TV, says Consumer Reports. "Several years ago, Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission to hold a spectrum auction, freeing up some over-the-air broadcast TV frequencies to make room for expanded wireless services. Now that the auction is complete, about 1,000 TV stations have to change their frequencies, a move that will happen over the next two years. In addition, about a dozen stations will go off the air entirely." In addition, "most stations have been adding subchannels, in addition to the main program you're tuned to. A rescan will help you capture any of those new subchannels, with programming that often includes a mix of vintage TV shows, nature programs, weather, and foreign-language programming."

Nerdist lists everything coming to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in August 2018. Among the recommendations: "On Friday, August 10, on Netflix, Voltron: Legendary Defender is taking viewers through hostile territory as the Paladins make some shocking discoveries about the fate of their world... The third season of Stan Against Evil is heading to IFC, but Hulu subscribers will get a chance to catch up on season two starting on Thursday, August 16. The first season of Disenchantment (Matt Groening's new Netflix series) will hit Netflix on August 17... On August 31, Amazon Prime is exploring the early days of Tom Clancy's iconic hero (Jack Ryan) as he finds himself thrust into an international mission to prevent a terrorist plot."

Weigel Broadcasting Co. announced the launch of a new Network in association with CBS Television Stations. "[T]he new multicast entertainment television network- Start TV, (will launch) beginning Monday, September 3, 2018... Start TV showcases strong and resourceful female leading characters in a lineup of contemporary and proven procedural dramas." Series will include 'The Closer,' 'Medium,' 'The Good Wife,' 'Crossing Jordan,' 'Cold Case,' 'Profiler' and 'The Division.' The free over-the-air broadcasts will initially have 42% coverage of U.S. TV households according to the press release.

A Lewiston, Idaho, resident was scammed out of $13,000 to a fake Roku technical support site, reports local station KLEW-TV. "The victim has a streaming media device, where you can plug it into your computer or TV and watch your favorite shows and movies whenever you want... 'He said that he had contacted a company called ROKU which he had done in the past and was able to get assistance with cleaning his computer,' said Sgt. Hill. But he needed help a second time, and this is where the story takes a turn. 'He believed that he had contacted the same company and in doing so he was transferred to a group called Get Max,' Sgt. Hill said. Somehow, the scammers convinced the 76-year-old, in order to clean his computer they needed payment in the form of gift cards. And on three different occasions. 'He was taken for over $13,499,' said Sgt. Hill. 'I wish I had that explanation, unfortunately, I don't.'" comment: This gentleman apparently contacted a scammer earlier as well, as Roku, Inc. tech support would be expected to only provide help with a Roku TV or device, not with "cleaning his computer."

Sling TV added three Argentine channels, making the streaming service the self-proclaimed leading OTT provider of South American content in the United States. "Telefe Internacional, El Trece Internacional and Todo Noticias join Sling TV's Sudamérica pack, which already features channels from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and more. Plus, Sling TV is the first streaming service in the U.S. to offer El Trece Internacional and Todo Noticias." Other channels in the Sudamérica pack include TyC Sports, Caracol, Nuestra Tele, NTN24, RCN Novelas, TV Venezuela, Ecuavisa Internacional, Bolivia TV, Canal Sur and Estudio 5.

Bloomberg reports that Verizon is seeking Google or Apple as 5G TV provider. "Verizon Communications Inc. is seeking to partner with Google or Apple to provide television when it launches the first superfast 5G service to homes in Los Angeles and Sacramento later this year, according to a person familiar with the situation... Using new fifth-generation wireless technology, Verizon plans to beam online services to home receivers, delivering speeds that match or exceed landline connections. The company will eventually use 5G to sell consumers internet and online TV packages to compete nationally against cable and landline services from AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp."

The Verge says that Discovery might bundle HGTV, the Food Network, and more into a new streaming service. "Discovery is considering launching its own direct-to-consumer streaming service, according to statements made by the company's CEO, David Zaslav, at an industry event yesterday (July 26, 2017). The bundle, which would charge customers between $5 to $8 dollars per month, would encompass all of Discovery's networks — including the Food Network, HGTV, TLC, and more." According to AdWeek, though, "[t]here is no timetable yet for a potential OTT product."

"Streaming TV services hope that better ad targeting will lead to profits," says Digiday. "Most virtual MVPDs still lose money because they pay more to carry various TV channels than what they charge customers every month. For instance, YouTube TV costs $40 per month but pays roughly $49 per month to channel owners, according to The Information. The hope is that as they pick off more consumers from traditional pay-TV, they will be able to increase ad revenue by coupling scale with advanced ad targeting."

"Exodus from pay TV accelerates despite OTT partnerships," eMarketer declares. "According to eMarketer's latest figures, the number of cord-cutters — adults who have ever canceled pay TV service and continue without it — will climb 32.8% this year to 33.0 million. That's higher than the 22.0% growth rate (27.1 million) projected in July 2017."

TechCrunch reports that the Senate wants emergency alerts to go out through Netflix, Spotify, etc.. "Senators in Hawaii and South Dakota... just introduced a bill (the 'Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement,' or READI, act) that would 'explore' broadcasting alerts to 'online streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify,' amongst other changes to the Emergency Alert System." 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.