December is starting off with a bang thanks to some landmark streaming news from HBO Max and Discovery’s announcement of a new streaming service launching early next year. Elsewhere, a pair of carrier disputes have led to major channel blackouts, and fuboTV is betting on sports wagering as a major new revenue source.
Here’s what happened in the world of cord cutting and streaming.
Here are some of the top streaming stories from the past week.
HBO Max Will Offer New Warner Bros Releases in 2021 at the Same Time as Theaters
Warner Bros. and HBO Max made some waves this week when they announced all of the film studio’s new 2021 films will also be available on the streaming service in the US on the same day as their theater debut. They’ll be offered for a limited time period, but the move could have a huge impact on an already challenged theater industry.
HBO Max Will Offer 4K Content, Starting with ‘Wonder Woman 1984’
In addition to its big same-day release news, HBO Max also announced it will soon start offering content in 4K resolution with high-dynamic range (HDR) support. To date, shows and movies have maxed out at 1080p, but that is set to change starting with the release of Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day.
HBO Max’s Free Trial is No More
The last bit of major HBO Max news this week has to do with the streaming service’s removal of a seven-day free trial offer. The move is unsurprising given the rush of exclusive content set to come to the service over the coming year.
Discovery+ Launches in January with Ad-Supported, Ad-Free Plans
Discovery Inc. made it official, announcing its new streaming service, Discovery+, would be launching in January 2021. The new service will offer ad-supported plans for $4.99 per month and ad-free access for $6.99 per month.
fuboTV is Betting Big on Sports Wagering
FuboTV announced its acquisition of Balto Sports, signaling a clear desire to expand into free-to-play gaming and sports wagering.
Hulu Watch Party is Now Available to All
Hulu’s group watching feature, Watch Party, is now available across all subscription types. The feature allows up to eight people to enjoy movies and shows remotely for a shared online experience.
Chromecast with Google TV Will Let You ‘Swipe Right’ for Better Suggestions
Soon, Chromecast with Google TV users will have a new option to fine-tune the streaming platform’s content suggestions. A new feature will let users swipe right or left to refine the types of shows and movies they actually want to see.
What’s the latest on the industry?
AT&T Loses Tegna-Owned Local Channels
AT&T and Tegna couldn’t reach an agreement, leading to a large channel blackout on DirecTV and U-verse.
Dish Hit With ‘Largest Local Station Blackout in TV History’
In other carriage dispute news, Dish and Nexstar couldn’t reach an agreement, leading to what’s been billed as the largest local station blackout in US history.
YouTube TV Gets Add Nexstar’s WGN America Next Month
Nexstar did score a deal with YouTube TV, which will start carrying WGN America starting in January, 2021. With YouTube TV’s 3 million users, the nationwide channel is expected to reach 78 million homes.
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Top 10 Cord Cutting Gifts for Kids and Families
We gathered together a list of great gift ideas for family members of all ages.