Pluto TV Adds Altice USA’s ‘News12 New York’ Channel

ViacomCBS’s ad-supported Pluto TV streaming platform is upping its live news content for viewers living in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — and nationwide.

“News12 New York,” the daily regional news digital network owned by cabler Altice USA, is available for free across all devices and platforms that carry Pluto TV. The network features the latest in local news, top stories, events, community updates and more from across the region.

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The network adds to Pluto TV’s growing lineup of news channels, which already includes Altice’s Cheddar News among many others.

“Now, more viewers than ever will be able to tune in to News12’s award-winning content from across the country through Pluto TV’s extensive user base,” said Kristin Malaspina, SVP of marketing and partnerships for Altice News.

Amy Kuessner, SVP of content strategy and global partnerships for ViacomCBS Streaming, said hyperlocal news is an important part of every community, and the partnership would provide Pluto TV’s tri-state viewers free easy access.

“We are proud to continue to expand our local news offerings on Pluto TV with the addition of News12 New York,” Kuessner said.

Altice USA Bows 4K Streaming Device for Broadband-Only Cable TV Subs

Borrowing a page from Roku, Altice USA has launched a new standalone 4K streaming device available to its broadband-only subscribers, dubbed “Optimum Stream” and “Suddenlink Stream,” respectively.

Powered by Android TV OS, the “Stream” device offers broadband-only subs access to a wide variety of video content, including thousands of apps and streaming services on Google Play and over 50 free live streaming channels.

The new streaming device is available for free to Optimum and Suddenlink broadband-only subs who select 1 Gig service or the highest broadband speed available in their service area. It is available to all other Optimum and Suddenlink broadband-only customers for $5 monthly surcharge.

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“As more consumers turn to streaming content for their entertainment needs, we are pleased to introduce Stream,” chief operating officer Hakim Boubazine said in a statement.

Subs will have direct access to preselected apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Discovery+. Other apps available to download on Google Play Store. Video can be streamed in 4K HDR and Dolby Vision depending on the user’s television. The Stream device offers voice search across live streaming TV and apps.

In addition to third-party SVOD platforms, Stream offers access to more than 50 free (ad-supported) live streaming channels, including live news from News 12, i24NEWS and Cheddar News, children’s entertainment from Kabillion, lifestyle entertainment from Bon Appetit, Wired and Reelz, among others.

Altice USA Softens Q3 Pay-TV Subscriber Losses

Cable operator Altice USA reported third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) pay-TV subscriber losses of 28,000, which was more than 15% improvement from 33,000 subs lost in the previous-year period.

New York-based Altice USA, which was created as a separate entity following the 2016 acquisition of Suddenlink and Cablevision by Netherlands-based multinational telecom Altice, attributed the improvement to few sub losses (7,000) at Suddenlink than in the prior-year period (14,000).

Suddenlink ended period with 1.01 million pay-TV subs compared to nearly 1.05 million during the previous-year period. Cablevision ended with 2.3 million from 2.38 million.

Overall net income topped $33.7 million on revenue of $1.05 billion, compared to a loss of $192 million and $1.07 billion last year.




Netflix Clarifies Subscriber Growth Projections

Coming off a record fiscal third quarter in subscriber growth, Netflix is again sitting pretty atop the global subscription streaming video market with 137 million subs, including 130 million paid.

In the Oct. 16 fiscal interview webcast, co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings reiterated that the platform – going forward – would focus projections on paid subscribers rather than including new subscribers engaged in free trial service.

“We’re getting a little better on the forecasting in particular the evolution to paid net ads,” Hastings said.“So, I think by focusing going forward on paid, we’ll be able to be a little more accurate and focused on the fundamentals.”

The return to “fundamentals” underscores Netflix’s concern about the market’s backlash in the previous fiscal quarter when the service failed to meet Wall Street and its own subscriber growth projections – estimates that included free trials.

“If you look at that paid net ad growth, you can actually see how remarkably steady [we are],” Hastings said.

To sustain subscriber growth in the mature domestic market, Netflix is streamlining growth projections and focusing on bundling the service with pay-TV operators and mobile phone services, including recent deals with T-Mobile and Altice USA.

“There’s still pockets of consumers who – it’s harder for them to get the activation energy to go directly to the website and sign up, but if we can put … a call to action and bundle that the subscription as part of their pay-TV offering or the mobile offering, they can then get right into the service,” said chief product officer Greg Peters.

Globally, Netflix’s sub growth projections remain relatively unlimited for the near future. Much of that due to the service’s burgeoning presence in India – a country with more than 300 million mobile phone subscriptions.

“A couple hundred million people watching content through the Internet in India is a really exciting idea,” said CCO Ted Sarandos.