Report: HBO Has More Than 5M Online Streaming Subs

HBO has more than 5 million online streaming subscribers, up from 2 million a year ago, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the situation.

Subscribers come from all the outlets it works with, including its own HBO Now, as well as  Amazon Channels, AT&T’s DirectTV Now and Sony Vue, Reuters reported.

An HBO Now subscription is $14.99 a month.

Hulu Unveils Super Bowl Spot for Series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King

Hulu has unveiled its Super Bowl commercial for upcoming original series “Castle Rock” from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. The series premieres this summer exclusively on Hulu.

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, “Castle Rock” stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Sissy Spacek, Billy Skarsgård, Jane Levy and Scott Glenn.

The “Castle Rock” Super Bowl spot can be seen here: https://youtu.be/fwmhiqUPa28

Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason developed the project for television and serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer. “Castle Rock” is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

‘Downsizing’ Coming to Disc, Digital March 20

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release director Alexander Payne’s Downsizing Digital HD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 20.

The futuristic comedy stars Matt Damon as Paul Safranek, who with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to ditch their stressed-out lives in favor of shrinking down in size and moving to a luxurious miniature community, Leisureland.

Downsizing, which earned $24.4 million in U.S. theaters also stars Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau, the latter in a breakthrough performance that earned her Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

The Downsizing 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc Combo Packs include nearly an hour of bonus content, including six behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film, the production design, and the visual effects, among others.

The Downsizing Blu-ray Disc is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles.  The DVD in the Combo Pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack includes the Blu-ray Disc as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD and English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Czech 5.1 Dolby Digital, French – Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital, French – Parisian 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Polish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese – Brazilian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Russian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish – Castilian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish – Latin American 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, Arabic, Bahasa – Malaysian, Cantonese, Simplified Chinese, Mandarin, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French – Canadian, French – Parisian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese – Brazilian, Portuguese – European, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish – Castilian, Spanish – Latin American, Swedish, Thai and Turkish subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

YouTube TV Available on Roku Devices

Roku Inc. and YouTube Feb. 1 announced the availability of YouTube TV on select Roku devices, allowing Roku users to stream live sports, local and national news, and shows as they air on live TV.

For $35/month following a free trial, users can get access to live TV from nearly 50 networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX and Telemundo. Sports and premium networks such as SHOWTIME, Shudder, Sundance Now and Fox Soccer Plus are also available for an additional monthly charge.

“We are thrilled to bring YouTube TV to our customers,” said Tedd Cittadine, VP, Content Distribution, Roku. “YouTube TV connects Roku users with great live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks in a channel built specifically for TVs.”

“The way people watch TV is ever-evolving, and expanding our reach through the Roku platform was a great fit,” said Christian Oestlien, product management director, YouTube TV.

Some additional YouTube TV features available on Roku include:

  • Cloud DVR with no storage limits;
  • A “library” tab that includes easy access to the shows viewers have recorded by browsing movies, shows, and events by new, most watched, and more;
  • A “home” tab with personalized recommendations, including top picks and resume watching (allowing users to easily pick up where they left off on another device when they get home);
  • A “live” tab with a full program guide to see what’s on now and what’s airing soon;
  • A background playback experience so viewers never miss the action while they browse the app;
  • And the ability to share with up to five other roommates or family members in the household with each member getting their own login, DVR, and personalized recommendations.

Currently, YouTube TV is available in more than 80 metro areas and is available in the Roku Channel Store.

Supported Roku devices include all Roku TVs, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Streaming Stick (3800x, 3600x), Roku Express/Express+ (3910x, 3900x, 3710x, 3700x), Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku 4, Roku 3 (4200x, 4230x) and Roku 2 (4210x).

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Ups 2017 Movie Revenue 6%

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Feb. 1 reported fiscal 2017 revenue of $1.56 billion from physical and digital sales of movies, which was 5.8% more than revenue of $1.48 billion in 2016. Sales of TV content on disc and digital declined 11% to $418 million from $470 million in the previous-year period.

Wonder Woman was the studio’s top-selling title, generating more than $88.4 million on sales of nearly 3.5 million combined Blu-ray Disc/DVD units, according to The-Numbers.com. The tally does not include 4K UHD Blu-ray or digital.

For the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2017, sales of movie discs and digital transactions fell almost 25% to $432 million from $571 million in the previous-year period.

The studio attributed the decline to year-over-year sales comparisons with Suicide Squad, which generated nearly $64 million on sales of 2.5 million discs in 2016. The title generated another $30 million in disc revenue in 2017.

By comparison, Annabelle: Creation generated just $3.7 million in disc sales, followed by Will Ferrell/Amy Poehler comedy, The House, with $1.6 million.

Sales of TV content dipped less than 2% to $155 million from $157 million.

Overall, studio income increased 12% ($199 million) to $1.9 billion on revenue of $13.9 billion – up 6% ($829 million) from $13.07 billion in 2016.

At the global box office, Warner movies grossed more than $5 billion. Five movies (Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, Justice League, Kong: Skull Island and It) each grossed more than $500 million and eight films ranked #1 in their opening weekends in the U.S.

For the 2017-2018 television season, Warner Bros. Television is producing 70 series, including 37 primetime series on broadcast networks — a studio record.