Fox Corp, Verizon Renew Multi-Year Distribution Deal as Fios Adds Tubi and Fox Weather
On Wednesday, Fox Corp. renewed its distribution contract with Verizon for a number of years, expanding its options on Fios TV by including the ad-supported streamer Tubi and Fox Weather. All of Fox’s brands, including Fox News Media, Fox Sports, the Fox broadcast network, and local Fox-owned and -operated TV stations in markets like New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia will continue to be distributed on Fios TV under the terms of the extended agreement between Verizon and Fox.
Together with AVOD provider Tubi, which will be available on both Fios TV set top boxes as well as other platforms, Fox Weather will be added to the Fios TV menu. Verizon Fios is a bundled internet access, phone, and television service that uses a fibre optic network, in contrast to standard cable. Fios TV offers live television to clients online, much like a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV or fuboTV.
As the streaming battles continue and cord-cutters have an impact on business models, distribution agreements between media companies and TV providers are getting more complex and discussions are taking longer. Customers of Fios TV can rest easy knowing that their beloved Fox brands won’t be leaving the service any time soon thanks to the conclusion of a new agreement between Fox Corp. and telco behemoth Verizon. Click here to read more.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav talks about merging into a single streaming platform by Summer 2023
The media business revealed a schedule for combining the two services: During the company’s Q2 earnings call, JB Perrette, CEO and president of worldwide streaming and interactive for Warner Bros. Discovery, said that HBO Max and Discovery+ would combine to launch as a single service in the United States in the summer of 2023.
Zaslav is moving away from a streaming-first mentality in order to preserve the long-term viability of his company’s theatrical and traditional pay-TV operations, in contrast to former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar who focused the company on HBO Max.
Warner Bros. Discovery executives did not discuss pricing for the combined streamer or reveal what the new name of the integrated service will be. According to Perrette, Warner Bros. Discovery is initially concentrating on the combined HBO Max-ad-supported Discovery+’s and ad-free versions, but is also “exploring how to reach customers in the free, ad-supported space” with content that is entirely distinct from that found on the premium VOD services.
According to Perrette, the combined HBO Max-Discovery+ package will incorporate the greatest features of both offerings. He claimed that whereas HBO Max has a large feature set and has experienced “performance and customer” concerns, Discovery+ has less features but a more capable underpinning delivery system.
The unified HBO Max-Discovery+ platform will be introduced to Latin America in the fall of 2023, Europe in the early months of 2024, Asia Pacific in the middle of 2024, and more regions in the fall of 2024 after the summer 2023 deployment in the United States. Click here to read more.
Why Are HBO Max Original Movies Disappearing From the Streaming Platform?
According to Variety, HBO Max has already eliminated at least six Warner Bros. films that were created especially for the service, and there will be more.
The movies that were noticeably removed from HBO Max over the past few months included “Moonshot,” starring Cole Sprouse and Zach Braff, “Superintelligence,” starring Melissa McCarthy (and written by her husband Ben Falcone), the 2020 remake of “The Witches,” “An American Pickle,” starring Seth Rogen, “Locked Down,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway, and Sundance film “Charm City Kings.” LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s “House Party” revival, which was supposed to air on July 28 on HBO Max but was never shown, was also indefinitely benched.
Redditors were the first to discover that the movies were gone from HBO Max, and Variety was the next to disclose their removal from the platform. In recent weeks, HBO Max has also been quietly deactivated by Warner Bros. Discovery. HBO Max still pays to licence these movies and TV shows for its service, despite the fact that many of them were created by Warner Bros. Studios. HBO Max touts “thousands of hours of series, movies, and exclusive originals,” but the costs of all those titles quickly add up.
HBO Max’s removal of a few exclusive originals by Warner Bros. Discovery comes as the business gears up to eventually integrate HBO Max with sibling service Discovery+. Since the merger became official earlier this year, corporate executives have had a lot of significant decisions to make. J.J. Click here to read more.
Italian VoD users reach 16.1m
According to the Q1 report of Italy’s Communications Authority, there were 16.1 million unique users of SVoD platforms there in March 2022, an increase of 1.6 million over the same month in 2021. (AgCom). On average, 44.5 million hours per month were spent browsing on the major SVoD platforms, down from 46.2 million hours in the first quarter of 2021.
As opposed to this, SVoD platforms saw continued growth in 2021, reaching 14.9 million unique users and reaching a peak of 16 million in December. This growth followed a significant increase in unique users from 11.2 to 14.3 million in 2020.
Despite a decline in market concentration, 79% of all resources were still controlled by the top three competitors. The fall in subscription earnings brought on by a reduction in the TV rights to broadcast Serie A football games allowed public broadcaster RAI to reclaim first place, surpassing pay-TV company Sky.
In the TV category, the “average day” ratings for March 2022 (10.33 million) fell by 1.16 million (-10.1%) from the equivalent month in 2021. With 3.83 million average daily viewers (35.9% share), public broadcaster Rai is in first place, followed by Mediaset with 3.60 million (33.7 per cent). Mediaset dropped 150,000 daily viewers while Rai lost 400,000 when compared to the same figures for 2021. Click here to read more.
Paramount+ adds 3.7M members in second quarter to top 43M total subscribers
On Thursday, Paramount Global announced its second-quarter results report, revealing that its leading streaming service, Paramount+, gained 3.7 million new subscribers in the period. According to the network, this caused the total number of Paramount+ customers to surpass 43 million.
The report claims that even though one of the many entertainment businesses that has severed connections with Russia, Paramount+, shut off 1.2 million Russian accounts as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, there was a net gain of 3.7 million. According to Paramount Global, these numbers resulted in a revenue for Paramount+ of $672 million, a 120 percent rise from the first quarter.
Following years of decline for other platforms, Paramount+ has recently experienced a distinctive growth in the streaming sector. The most notable example of this is Netflix, which, according to the business, lost one million customers in the second quarter. Other streaming services, like Peacock, experienced a flat quarter with no new net subscriber growth.
The company experienced a growth in subscribers for its free service, Pluto TV, which has 70 million viewers, making it the leading free streamer in the U.S., in addition to the paid streaming platform Paramount+. For the second consecutive year, CBS, the main cable channel for Paramount, was also the most popular network in the nation. The rising subscriber numbers are encouraging for Paramount Global, which in February increased its target to 100 million by 2024. Click here to read more.