Do we want AT&T to buy TimeWarner? Vudu starts a free streaming service. FireTV gets a makeover. With special guest Ben Howard.
CordKillers: Ep. 142 – A New Type of Extortion!
Recorded: October 24 2016
Guest: Ben Howard
- AT&T to buy Time Warner in media-shaking $85.4B deal
- AT&T’s new streaming service, DirecTV Now, just got a lot more interesting
- AT&T-Time Warner may signal start of new media industry consolidation
- US Senate to investigate Time Warner ATT merger
- DirecTV Now to launch in November
- AT&T-Time Warner Announcement Was Supposed to Come Post-Election
– AT&T has agreed to acquire Time Warner (HBO, CNN, Movie studios etc.) for $85.4 billion (half stock half cash)
– Expect it to complete by end of 2017
– AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Monday that DirecTV’s over the top service will launch in November at a “radically lower” price than competing services.
– A Senate subcommittee responsible for competition will hold a hearing in November.
– Dan Primack at Fortune notes AT&T only has to pay $500 million to Time Warner if the deal falls apart, vs. the $4 billion it had to pay Deutsche Telekom when TMO-USA deal fell apart.
How to Watch
- Walmart launches a free streaming service, Vudu Movies on Us
– Vudu launched a free ad-supported video on demand service in the US, called Vudu Movies on Us. The service will not focus on new movies or original content, but rather build a back catalogue which will increase over the next several months. The site will be marketed by Vudu’s parent company Walmart, both in stores and online. Movies will stream at 1080p with pre-roll and some mid-roll ads. The company is also working with Nielsen to track mobile and connected TV viewing.
- Amazon’s Fire TV software is getting a new look soon
- Amazon cuts Fire TV’s price to keep up with 4K competitors
– Amazon started shipping its refreshed FireTV Stick with Alexa-enabled remote for $40.
– FireTV price cut to $90. Antenna bundle $100, Gaming edition $130
– Amazon also started showing off an update to its Fire TV interface coming later this year
– Primary navigation has shifted from left side to the top
– More accessibility for screen readers
– Individual apps can be reoreded
What We’re Watching
- Brian: Joe Rogan special (netflix), Black Mirror (301-302), Justified 402, Westworld 104
- Tom: Arrow, Flash, Black Mirror (301-303), Star Wars Rebels, Justified (402), The Walking Dead (701), Westworld (104)
- Ben: Westworld, The Strain, Designated Survivor, This is Us
- On the Lookout: Terrace House, Futurestates
- Google reportedly signs CBS for web TV service
– The Wall Street Journal reports that Google signed a deal with CBS to carry the network on an as yet unannounced YouTube TV service called Unplugged. Google is also reportedly nearing a similar deal with 21st Century Fox, and in advanced talks with NBCUniversal and Disney. The Unplugged service will supposedly offer bundles from $25 to $40. If talks advance, the service could launch in early 2017. One sticking point in negotiations, the right for YouTube to overlay data on top of network live feeds.
- Vimeo launches a TV store featuring top series from Lionsgate, STARZ
– Vimeo launched its partnership with Lionsgate and STARZ to sell shows in the Vimeo store. Lionsgate produced shows liek Orange is the New Black and Mad Men are in there and will be joined shortly by Starz original series like Ash vs. Evil Dead and Black Sails. The store is at vimeo.com/tvstore.
- YouTube is now available on your Dish DVR
– Dish has added a YouTube app to its Hopper 3 DVR accessible on Channel 371. You can also cast videos from a YouTube app to the DVR. The Hopper 3 also supports Netflix, Pandora, Vevo, and Weather Channel channel apps.
- Sling TV adds NHL Network to its add-on Sports Extra package
– Sling TV added the NHL network to its sports extra package. It’s the first over the top service to get the NHL. The NHL Network offers 75 games a year. The Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries were added to the “Lifestyle Plus Extra” add-on.
- Why Netflix shouldn’t be scared of the ‘Netflix of China’ and its splashy US debut — yet
– Chinese company LeEco which offers a service often called the “Netflix of China” announced a video service for its new phones and TVs launching in the US. While the servie announced partners like Showtime, Lionsgate and even Sling, it turns out the service is more of an app ecosystem where you have to subscribe to each service individually but can then use them seamlessly across LeEco devices. The one exception is Lionsgate which will license some movies directly to the LeEco Live platform.
- The NBA is adding a zoomed-in view for smartphones to all League Pass streams
– NBA League Pass customers will have the option to choose a Mobile View for every game streamed on the service this season. The option which appears in the app for phones and tablets has a dedicated producer and camera working to shoot video that’s more zoomed in and easier to see on a smaller screen. The NBA also announced one game a week will be streamed in VR with its own dedicated crew and announcers.
Dispatches from the Front
Hey Tom and Brian!
So today I decided to sign up for the PS Vue free trial, and I got a Roku Stick to put in the living room as well. I decided to tell my family to just try this “new cable service” for a week and tell me if they miss anything from before. I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t notice so we can cut the cord. Currently I’m paying around $180 per month just for the cable (not including internet or phone) thanks to box rentals, extra fees, and taxes. I’ll make sure to follow up next week and let you know how successful this experiment was!
Hello I love the show it gave me the strength to cut the cord. I did it a year ago and have never looked back. It surprised me that half the shows I watched weekly were no longer important when I had to make an effort to watch them. This also includes mutliple sports.
My question is what show or sport you thought you couldn’t live without but after cutting the cord you haven’t missed? Mine was soccer.
Hey Brian and Tom,
I wanted to let Tom know (someone also mentioned this in the emails) that With PlayStation Vue, you can login to almost all channel standalone apps (Not Watch NFL Network for some reason). I use the Fox Sports Go app (Android, iOS, Roku, Chromecast, Web Browser, maybe more availability). It works really slick! Try it out.
That is how I get around the in home restrictions from PS Vue.
Hey guys, as a Comcast employee one reason I see a decline in ESPN subs is because we install a lot of basic and limited basic TV packages which doesn’t include ESPN. When I asked why only basic service to these customers they respond with “I’m only getting the TV service so I can have a cheaper price on my Internet service .” Just thought I would throw my two cents in. Thanks guys and keep up the great work.