The Recap: A Possible Peacock-Paramount+ Marriage, Sports JV Drama, and More




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A busy week was capped off by another shocking revelation: Paramount and Comcast discussing combining their respective streaming services, Paramount+ and Peacock. 

We also continued to see the ripple effects of last week’s announcement from Walt Disney’s ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery to form a streaming sports joint venture, with a lot more unhappy parties coming out of the woodworks. 

As always, there was a lot going on in the world of cord cutting. But that’s why The Recap exists, to catch you up on the biggest stories and why you should care about them. 

Here’s what you need to know from this past week.


Apparently, joint ventures are the new thing. The latest comes from The Wall Street Journal, which reports that Paramount and Comcast were in talks to merge their streaming services, potentially through a JV. 

Paramount+ and Peacock are squarely in the also-ran category of streaming services right now. Paramount+ is the larger of the two, with 63 million subscribers as of the end of the third quarter, while Peacock reported ending the year with 31 million subscribers.

Both are also wildly unprofitable, so it’s clear why the two may need each other. 

It may or may not be a coincidence that these two streaming services weren’t invited to that other streaming JV. Speaking of…

Sports Streaming Fallout

After the shock wore off on the announcement of the ESPN-FOX-Warners streaming service, people started reacting. And not well. 

Fubo and ACA Connects, a trade group representing small cable companies, already slammed the deal last week. This week, Puck reported that the NFL wasn’t too happy about the news, and felt blindsided. You can bet the NFL’s finest army of lawyers are combing through their contracts with three companies. 

The large cable companies don’t appear keen either, with MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett saying the JV could conflict with deals already in place, and said he wouldn’t be surprised to see lawsuits flying. 

Lastly, the U.S. Justice Department is going to review the joint venture once it’s formalized, Bloomberg said. 

An Offline NextGen TV Tuner

Channel Master came out with the first ever ATSC 3.0 tuner that operates even without an internet connection. It’s still able to handle the DRM embedded in the NextGen TV signal without online access. 

Having an offline tuner is one of the big asks from folks who are still skeptical about the new over-the-air standard. It comes as the technology has reached more than 75% of the country, which the Advanced Television Systems Committee says it a key threshold for mass adoption. 

We’ll see if this prompts more people to adopt the standard. 

YouTube TV’s New Features

YouTube TV users have reason to cheer. The service launched two new features, one of which addressed a common request. The first is the ability to customize your multiview experience to have different games of your choosing. You can’t choose ANY game, but you can select from a predetermined list. That’s a big move towards further customizing the experience for sports fans (it’s only for games for now). 

The second is a simple, but useful one. The service added the ability to return to the previous channel. Keep in mind that you’ll hop back and forth between channels like a regular TV experience, and will pick up the live feed on each channel. You wouldn’t go back to the spot that you previously stopped at. 

It’s a nice quality of life improvement for the service. 

Prime Video Sued For Ads

Amazon’s decision to insert ads into Prime Video may have annoyed you, but did it anger you enough to actually sue the company? A class action suit was filed against the company, alleging Amazon breached its terms of service when it forced everyone into getting ads. Consumers have to pay $2.99 a month to opt out of them (if you logged into the service, you’ve probably seen those pop-up notifications asking if you want to switch). 

At least there weren’t any price hikes this week. (That we know of…if you spot one, please tell us.)

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