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AT&Ts low-cost TV streaming service WatchTV goes live

Charmaine Blake

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AT&T’s newly announced WatchTV, a low-cost live TV streaming service announced in the wake of the AT&T / Time Warner merger, is now up and running. The company already has one over-the-top streaming service with DirecTV Now, but this one is cheaper, has some restrictions and doesn’t include local channels or sports (to keep costs down).

At $15 per month, the service undercuts the existing low-cost leader Philo by a dollar, but offers a different lineup (Fomopop has a nice channel-by-channel comparison between the two, if you’re in the market).

Both have 25 of the same channels in their packages, including A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Food Network, Discovery, HGTV, History and others, but AT&T WatchTV is missing MTV, Nickelodeon and Travel Channel.

In total, WatchTV has more than 30 live TV channels, plus 15,000+ TV  shows and movies on demand, and allows you to subscribe by way of updated AT&T Wireless plans. Non-AT&T customers can subscribe for $15 per month directly.

AT&T has been monkeying around with its wireless plans to best take advantage of its Time Warner acquisition. With the new unlimited plans, it removed the previously free HBO perk and raised the entry-level plan by $5 per month, Ars Technica reported, detailing the changes that coincided with the launch of WatchTV. (Existing customers were grandfathered in to free HBO.)

Instead, wireless customers on the top-tier AT&T Unlimited & More Premium plan can choose to add on another option — like HBO — for free. Other services they can opt for instead include Showtime, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium and VRV.

The company also quietly raised its “administrative fee” for postpaid wireless customers from $0.76 to $1.99 per month, Ars noted as well, citing BTIG Research. This will bring in $800 million of incremental service revenue per year, the analyst firm said.

Despite the price hikes and valid concerns over AT&T’s behavior, there’s likely going to be a market for this low-cost live TV service. The company’s DirecTV Now streaming service, launched in December 2016, reached 1.46 million subscribers in April. It’s catching up to longtime leader, Dish’s Sling TV, which debuted at……”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/29/atts-low-cost-tv-streaming-service-watch-tv-goes-live/

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New Movie Tech

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s streaming service Quibi books $100M in ad sales ahead of launch

Charmaine Blake

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“Quibi, the short-form video platform founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, hasn’t even launched, but has already booked $100 million in advertising sales, according to a report from The WSJ this morning. The company, which aims to cater to younger viewers with premium content chopped up into “quick bites,” says it has already booked advertisers, including Protector & Gamble, Pepsi Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev, Walmart, Progressive and Google.

It still has around $50 million in unsold ad inventory ahead of launch.

It’s hard to imagine how a service like Quibi will compete in a market dominated by paid streamers like Netflix and free services like YouTube — both preferred by a younger demographic. But Quibi has been raising massive amounts of money to take them on. In May, it was reported that Quibi was going after another billion in funding, on top of the billion it had already raised………….”

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Tyler Perry & BET Partner Up For Streaming Service Offer

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“There are reportedly over 200 streaming services in the United States alone, and now Tyler Perry and BET want a piece of the pie. The media mogul and the popular urban network are planning to launch a new subscription-based streaming service called BET+. According to Deadline, they will offer TV shows and films from fellow Viacom flagships MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central. It’s believed that Perry will begin plugging the service and the forthcoming BET Awards.”

 

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‘Avengers: Endgame’ hits Disney+ in December

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That subscription just got so much more tempting.

Image: Film Frame Marvel Studios 2019

“Disney’s first major move in the streaming wars comes with a super-sized punch.

Announced Wednesday, Avengers: Endgame will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+ starting December 11 — a little less than a month after the new streaming platform debuts on November 12.

For dedicated Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu subscribers with a love of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that may mean adding another service to their monthly entertainment bill this winter.

At the time of launch, Disney+ will carry an initial subscription price of $6.99 per month — as well as be available at a discounted offering of $69.99 per year.

While it was anticipated that Disney would corner the market on streaming Marvel films, the exclusive streaming of Avengers: Endgame will likely prove a massive draw for customers.

At present, Endgame has made $2.27 billion dollars at the worldwide box office, making it the second-highest grossing film of all-time, after Avatar — and continues to climb towards that #1 spot. Disney+ is primed to make the most of their winning film, lining up a number of Marvel spin-off series for streaming exclusivity as well.

Viewers looking to own Endgame (and possibly see it sooner) can turn to Amazon, where it is already available for pre-order. While no official digital release date for Endgame has been announced, it is anticipated to arrive sometime this summer as its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, shared a similar release date and hit the digital shelf on July 31, 2018. ”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/avengers-endgame-disney-plus-streaming/

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