The Recap: Legacy Max Customers Lose 4K, Bally Sports+ Kept Going Down, and More





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It was another busy week of earnings, this time from a number of the streaming services. 

Also, it was a rough few days if you were a Bally Sports+ subscriber. 

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. 

Big Streaming Gains

We got a glimpse into how some of the other streaming services are faring this week. Fox reported that Tubi, the No. 1 free, ad-supported streaming service, hit 70 million monthly active users in September, with total view time rising 65%. 

It’s important to note that despite the hype around Peacock, Paramount+, and Max, Tubi is actually more popular than all of them, according to Nielsen. FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said that’s how he expects most of the company’s audience will watch its content in the future. 

Paramount+, meanwhile, owns the other big free ad-supported service, Pluto TV, but didn’t share its numbers. Instead, it focused on how its Paramount+ service added 2.7 million subscribers to reach 63 million total. Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra also teased that there’s still an opportunity to raise prices further after the “successful” hike in June. 

Live streaming service Fubo added 310,000 subscribers in the third quarter, reversing a trend of customer defections in the prior period. 

Bally Sports+ Kept Going Down

There was an odd sense of deja vu if you were a Bally Sports+ customer. The streaming service went down for four straight nights starting Monday. The Bally Sports Help X account seemed to parrot the same updates each night, as the service got disrupted over and over again. At least it offered refunds

As if Bally Sports didn’t have enough problems. 

DIRECTV Warns of More Local Blackouts

With regional sports networks crumbling, a number of sports teams have made the move to a local broadcaster in an effort to reach a broader audience. 

But DIRECTV said this move could spur local channels to ask for even more in programming fees, which could lead to more disputes with the cable and satellite companies over time. In addition, DIRECTV warned that some of the games are being broadcast on smaller channels that its systems aren’t equipped to pick up. 

At least for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the move to a local channel has been a boon, with ratings doubling what they were when under AT&T SportsNet.

Another Cable Company Exists the Cable Business

Cord cutters are having an impact on the cable industry, with Cable One the latest to announce that it would withdraw from the pay TV business to shift to streaming and broadband. 

The company revealed in its earnings that it had just 140,500 residential TV customers and 8.400 business customers. In comparison, it boasts nearly 960,000 broadband customers, so the writing was on the wall. 

Legacy Max Customers Lose Some Perks

Legacy Max subscribers got an unwelcome note this week, with Warner Bros Discovery letting them know that they would soon lose a few perks. Starting December 5, customers on the prior HBO Max plan will lose access to 4K video, as well as one of their concurrent streams (leaving them with two). The changes bring them in line with Max’s $15.99-a-month “ad-free” tier.

Those wanting more streams and 4K can upgrade to the $19.99 “ultimate” tier.

At least we got through the week without a new price hike announcement. Although DIRECTV’s price increase kicks in today.

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