Weekend Wrap-Up: Roku vs. Google, ESPN Spinoff Rumors, and More




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Smiling family sitting holding remote control

This week, Roku shared more info about its ongoing dispute with Google, which could lead to YouTube leaving the company’s streaming platform by year’s end. Elsewhere, HBO Max and Netflix shared their most recent subscriber numbers, and rumors started swirling about Disney’s plans for ESPN.

In hardware news, we reviewed Amazon’s latest streaming device, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which proved to be a worthy upgrade over the 2018-era Fire TV Stick 4K

Here’s what happened in the world of cord cutting and streaming.

Breaking News

Here are some of the top streaming stories from the past week.

YouTube Could Be Dropped from Roku Before the End of the Year

Roku and Google remain locked in a dispute and this week, Roku shared its side via a blog post. The company claims Google is making requests it doesn’t ask from other content partners. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement by a December deadline, YouTube could be pulled from the Roku Channel Store.

Check out the latest on the Roku vs. Google dispute here.

Amazon Expands Free Local News on Fire TV to Cover 158 Cities

Amazon continues to expand its lineup of local news offerings, including more stations in an expanding lineup of markets. You can check out our full post for the list of newly added stations and the cities they serve.

Read more about local news on Fire TV here.

NBA League Pass Returns to fuboTV for the 2021-2022 NBA Season

After a break last season, fuboTV has re-added the option for NBA League Pass just in time for the new season. The add-on service offers out-of-market live games, on demand classic matchups, offline downloads, and more.

Learn more about NBA League Pass on fuboTV here.

Pluto TV Adds Two New Channels to Its Free Streaming Lineup

Pluto TV added two more channels to its free streaming lineup this week. One focuses on soap operas, while the other offers kid-friendly content. Meanwhile, the service also detailed what to expect for the final week of October, including spooky Doctor Who episodes and a Chuck Norris marathon.

Check out more info on Pluto TV’s newest channels here.

And learn more about the service’s upcoming shows and movies here.

Hardware Spotlight

A look at the latest streaming and cord-cutting gear

Fire TV Stick 4K Max: Worth The Upgrade or Too Little, Too Late?

This week, we reviewed Amazon’s latest streaming device, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. It’s an affordable and capable piece of hardware and offers a solid improvement over the earlier Fire TV Stick 4K.

Watch our review of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max or check out the text version here.

Industry Report

What’s the latest on the industry?

HBO Max Loses 1.8 Million US Subscribers But Comes Out Ahead

HBO and HBO Max announced a loss of around 1.8 million subscribers in the US during the third quarter. However, continued growth in other markets led to an overall gain worldwide.

Read more about HBO’s Q3 numbers here.

Netflix Now Has 214 Million Global Subscribers

Netflix reported adding 4.4 million new users during its third quarter and expects even more in Q4 as the holidays ramp up and production schedules get back to normal. Overall, the streaming giant ended Q3 with a reported 214 million users globally.

See Netflix’s newest earnings and user stats here.

Report: Disney is Considering Spinning-Off ESPN

We also learned about a rumor suggesting Disney is considering spinning off ESPN. The rumors point to ESPN’s ties to linear TV in a world moving more toward cord cutting and streaming live sports. It’s still a rumor at this point, but we’ll certainly keep an eye on it.

Check out the latest ESPN rumors here.

Deal Alert

Save some cash with these current and upcoming deals.

Early Black Friday: Best Buy Deals & Holiday Shopping Tips

With shipping delays looming over the holidays, many retailers are offering early “Black Friday” deals and pricing. Case in point: Best Buy’s offering extended return windows, price guarantees, and more to encourage shoppers to get their gifts early.

See Best Buy’s early Black Friday deals here.

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