Welcome to November 2020. There is, shall we say, a lot going on right now beyond the entertainment world, but there was still plenty of cord cutting and streaming news to talk about this week. We’ve got more third quarter earnings to talk about from Roku and others and more streaming app support for next-gen consoles. Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s TVision service might already be facing some challenges, and Comcast could be working with Walmart on some smart TVs.
Here are some of the top streaming stories from the past week.
Spectrum Plans to Raise Cost of Internet Service Next Month
It looks like Charter Spectrum customers might see another price hike soon. We’ve seen reports that the internet service provider is looking to increase prices by $5 per month on December 2nd. And that move would affect all internet-only customers, including folks signed on to Spectrum’s stream TV plans. Meanwhile, those who have a bundle package that includes internet and cable TV service won’t be affected. So if you’re currently a Spectrum internet customer, now might be a good time to check out your November bill, as the company is reportedly starting to notify customers about the increase. If you’re signed up for paperless billing, you can access your statement online to find the notice.
Comcast, Walmart Could Be Working on Smart TVs Together Soon
In Comcast news, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the company might be in talks with mega retailer Walmart about a plan to develop and market smart TVs using Comcast’s in-house software and platform. If that sounds a little familiar, it might be because Walmart already has a similar deal in place with Roku, with the retailer selling Roku-powered gear under the Onn brand. These are unconfirmed reports, but if true, the move would mark yet another push from Comcast into the streaming platform industry, and it makes sense for a company looking to offset falling pay TV subscriber numbers.
Discovery Will Announce Its Upcoming Streaming Service in December
We’ve been hearing about Discovery’s potential streaming service for at least a year now, and CEO David Zaslav says we should get an update on those efforts next month. We can likely expect original content and a significant catalog pulled from Discovery’s portfolio of brands, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Science Channel, and more. There no word yet on pricing, platform support, or potential ad-supported tiers, but we’ll keep a close eye on things as December approaches.
Apple TV is Coming to Xbox One, Series S, Series X Next Week
Next-generation game consoles are nearly upon us and we have more Xbox news to share. Like the PlayStation 5, both next-gen Xbox consoles will get the Apple TV app at launch, which means Xbox users will have access to Apple TV+, and other shows and movies. The new app will also come to the current-generation Xbox One line as well.
What’s the latest on the industry?
Roku Reaches 46 Million Active Accounts
Rokue reported that it’s added some 2.9 million active accounts for the third quarter, which brings them to 46 million active accounts in total. That figure represents a 43 percent jump year over year. And sales of streaming devices also saw a jump. Company execs called the third quarter the strongest quarter in the platform segment’s history. And Roku’s sales jumps were likely helped by recent hardware releases, including the Roku Streambar, which combines a streaming device with a multi-speaker sounder, as well as an updated Roku Ultra.
Discovery Says T-Mobile Shouldn’t be Including Its Channels on Low-Cost Plan
Discovery Communications raised concerns about T-Mobile’s new TVision streaming service. Even though the service launched just a few days ago, we’re already starting to hear grumblings about lineup offerings. In particular, Discovery CEO David Zaslav commented during Discovery’s Q3 earnings call, saying the company was quote “very surprised” by how T-Mobile chose to bundle channels. Zaslav’s comments indicate the company isn’t quite onboard with its channels being included in the Vibe package, but not the TVision Live plans. He added that Discovery hopes to resolve the issue soon.
NBC and ViacomCBS Join Discovery in Expressing Concern Over T-Mobile Content Distribution
It turns out Discovery isn’t the only company curious about T-Mobile’s channel lineups and packaging. Both NBC and ViacomCBS have also expressed concern about how their respective channels are offered. For ViacomCBS, the concern is that their channels only appear on the Vibe plan, but not on the TVision Live option. Meanwhile, sources at NBCUniversal told us T-Mobile might be in breach of its contract with NBC.
Sinclair Reported $4.18 Billion Operating Loss in Q3 2020
Sinclair Broadcast Group reported an operating loss of around $4.18 billion during its third quarter earnings announcement. Some of that loss has been attributed to the pandemic, as well as changes in consumer behavior, especially when it comes to sports. But Sinclair also took a big hit when it failed to reach distribution deals for its stable of regional sports networks with services like YouTube TV and Hulu.
Save some cash with these current and upcoming deals.
We have indeed reached November, which means Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are fast approaching. Of course, this year has presented some unique challenges, so we’re keeping a very close eye on how major retailers are approaching this holiday shopping season. On our site, you might have already seen some pre-Black Friday deals available. And stay tuned throughout November and December as we continue to highlight all the latest cord cutting and streaming deals. Here are just a few recent examples: