The Recap: Nickelodeon’s App Shuts Down, Spectrum Takes a Hit, and More




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Family watching TV

YouTube TV offered some improvements for users, while earnings season rolled along with a myriad of tech companies reporting their results. 

Also reporting earnings was Spectrum, which felt the bite of 5G home internet service. The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, warned that it may need to stop taking new applications for the Affordable Connectivity Program on February 8 as the money starts to dry up. 

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.

YouTube TV Upgrades

YouTube TV listened to its users and added new capabilities to its Multiview window. While you still can’t pick and choose each game, you can find different combinations of Multiview games. The feature became available to some users with NBA League Pass subscriptions, but Google confirmed it would soon come to all devices that support Multiview. 

It was a busy week for YouTube TV, which also brought a new Enhanced 1080p mode to users, which is the highest quality video it offers. 

Spectrum Takes a Hit

Cable TV provider posted its fourth-quarter results on Friday, and they weren’t pretty. The company lost 320,000 TV customers, and is still feeling the after-effects of its dispute with Walt Disney in the summer. It also lost 61,000 internet customers, which had been one of the brighter spots of the cable business. This follows Comcast reported that it lost 389,000 TV customers and 34,000 internet customers. 

So not only are some people cutting the cable TV cord, they’re cutting the cord completely from cable. 

Christopher Winfrey, CEO of Charter, Spectrum’s parent, downplayed the threat of 5G home internet service, which has grown rapidly in the same stretch. He called the impact “temporary” and said his internet product is “faster and more reliable.”

But for now, those numbers are worrisome. 

Time Running Out for ACP

It’s not looking good for the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Federal Communications Commission said it would stop taking applications for the ACP on February 8, with the anticipation that funding will run out in April. 

While there’s a bill presented that could save the program, the FCC and companies are preparing as if it will cease, which will mean an automatic increase in the internet bills of more than 20 million households. 

Cable TV companies like Spectrum are already warning its customers that their bills may go up.

Big Tech Earnings

The telecom had their run of earnings last week, and this week’s it’s Big Tech. While it’s interesting to see how they fared (generally pretty good), the real value is seeing some of the other nuggets of information they dropped. 

For example, YouTube saw its ad revenue rise to $9.2 billion, but Google also said that the video platform has been key to driving subscriptions. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, said the subscriptions from YouTube Premium and Music helped turn it into a $15 billion annual revenue business. 

Philipp Schindler, chief business officer of Alphabet, also noted that connected TV viewers represent the fastest growing audience for YouTube, and teased more features specifically for that format down the line. 

Amazon, meanwhile, disclosed that its audience for NFL Thursday Night Football rose by 24% over the previous season. The company also rolled out a new artificial intelligence-powered shopping assistant named Rufus.  

Nickelodeon’s App Shuts Down

Paramount has been shutting down the cable network streaming apps as it pushes people to watch cable or Paramount+. The latest to go was Nickelodeon, which shut down this week and joins Comedy Central, MTV, and Paramount Network as defunct apps. 

The apps remain in stores, but opening one will get you a message saying it’s been shut down. 
Fortunately, if you really need your Paw Patrol, there are various streaming services that offer the show. But hardcore fans (kids) will get the best experience from Paramount+.

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