Vizio Launches 30 New Free Linear Channels on SmartCast Home Screen

Vizio April 7 launched 30 new free linear TV channels on its SmartCast Home screen.

Channels include news and lifestyle content from USA Today and CBC News; sports information and action from USA Today Sportswire and the Fubo Sports Network; and celebrity and entertainment news from TMZ and Hollywire. Do-it-yourself channels include Hungry, Food52 and The Design Network.  Sci-Fi content is on Dust, documentaries on Magellan TVNow and Docurama, and cult classics on CONtv.

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The free streaming channels can be found under a “Free Channels” row on the SmartCast Home screen.

“The new wave of programming comes at a time when TV usage is surging,” according to a Vizio release. “Vizio SmartCast TV’s free ad supported apps and streaming TV services saw a 59% increase in viewing sessions over the last three weeks of March.”

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“More people are discovering our free content offerings and making them part of their daily routines right now,” said Mike O’Donnell, SVP of platform business. “We recognize the important role that TV plays in the home, especially when families are being asked to stay inside. It’s important for us to deliver popular content to consumers, and we are focused on continually expanding additional free and premium options for our Vizio SmartCast TV customers.”

Eight Cinedigm Networks Coming to Free OTT Service DistroTV

Cinedigm is partnering with global OTT streaming service DistroTV to bring eight of its networks to the free platform’s programming roster this month.

They include the fanspace-based outlet CONtv and CONtv Anime, the family-focused Dove Channel, and the fact-based Docurama, as well as Chinese pop culture channel Bambu, stand-up special supplier Comedy Dynamics, combat sports hub Combat Go, and global Asian pop culture community HallyPop.

DistroTV offers a diverse range of programming options covering sports, news, entertainment, travel, film, television, fashion, fitness, music and more in live, linear and on-demand formats. DistroTV is available for free on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.

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“As one of the first major partners of the DistroTV streaming service, Cinedigm is once again breaking new ground — expanding our distribution footprint event further with the launch of eight of our most popular networks on the growing entertainment platform,” said Tony Huidor, Cinedigm’s GM of digital networks, in a statement. “DistroTV and Cinedigm share a similar vision of redefining the traditional television experience and putting the power back in the hands of the user. This agreement plays an integral role in our mission to deliver our unique channels and programming to viewers all across the globe, opening up our eclectic offerings to a whole new audience. We look forward to supplying DistroTV with more of the same top-quality content that our networks are known for.”

“We are thrilled to team with Cinedigm and to deliver their exciting suite of channels.” said Navdeep Saini, CEO and founder of DistroTV parent company DistroScale, in a statement. “The quality and variety of their content fits perfectly with our global free streaming platform DistroTV.”

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Roku Streaming Free Premium Content Through End of the Year

Roku Dec. 9 announced its second annual Stream-a-thon, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, 2020, enabling users free access to a selection of premium content with no subscription needed on The Roku Channel.

Separately, Roku is expanding its Premium Subscriptions with a new HBO + Cinemax Value Pack, which is available for $20.99.

For the first time on The Roku Channel, season one of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will be available to stream (beginning Dec. 26) without an HBO subscription. Additionally, this year viewers will be able to use Roku Search to discover Stream-a-thon content.

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“Stream-a-thon marks the conclusion of an eventful year for The Roku Channel, which included milestones such as the introduction of Premium Subscriptions, the expansion of our live and linear channel offering, the debut of Kids & Family, and the addition of value packs,” Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement, said in a statement.

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Since launching in 2017, The Roku Channel has become a top 5 channel on the Roku platform by active account reach. In 2019, The Roku Channel expanded its entertainment offering with 80,000+ free, ad-supported and premium movies and TV episodes, launched 40+ Premium Subscription services, reached 50+ live and linear streaming services, and introduced Kids & Family entertainment from nearly 30 partners.

“We are thrilled that HBO will be part of Roku’s Stream-a-thon this December,” said Sofia Chang, president of WarnerMedia Distribution. “There will be something for all Roku users to enjoy over the holidays from HBO without a need for an HBO subscription.”

Premium Subscription partners celebrating this year’s Stream-a-thon include Cinemax, CONtv, Dove Channel, Epix, FitFusion, The Great Courses Signature, HBO, Hallmark Movies Now, Pantaya, Smithsonian Channel Plus, Starz, Showtime, Stingray Karaoke, UP Faith & Family, and more.
Unlocked Complete First Seasons

First full seasons of the following premium shows include:

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Warrior” (Cinemax)
“Power” (Starz) – complete first season available throughout the month of December
“Billions,” “The Affair,” and “Ray Donovan” (SHOWTIME)
“Ancient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization,” “The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking,” “How Jesus Became God” (The Great Courses Signature)
“Bringing Up Bates,” “Design Twins,” “Expecting,” “Growing Up McGhee,” “Last Hope,” “Our Wedding Story,” “Unboxed with Nikki Chu” (UP Faith & Family)

Other programming includes:

“Barry,” “Chernobyl,” “Euphoria,” “Sesame Street,” and “Succession” (HBO)
“Kidding” (Showtime)
“Get Shorty,” “Pennyworth,” and “Punk” (Epix)
“Abbott and Costello The Christmas Show,” “Anytime Fireplace,” “Gumby’s Christmas Capers,” “MXC,” “Sonic Christmas Blast,” and “Super Mario Bros Super Show” (CONtv)
“A Christmas Kiss,” “A Golden Christmas 3,” “A Heartland Christmas,” “Naughty and Nice,” “Paper Angels,” “Tappy Toes,” “The Nutcracker Sweet,” and “The Perfect Gift” (Dove Channel)
“Jillian Michael: Beginner Shred – Workout 1,” “Cassey Ho: POP Pilates for Beginners,” “Dashama: Mermaid Pose,” “Elle Young: BodyBurn,” “Kenta Seki: Fusion 15 – Total Body,” “Tara Stiles – Strala CORE,” and “Zuzka Light: HIIT Cardio – Workout 1” (FitFusion)
“Ancient Civilizations of North America,” “Ancient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization,” “The Apocryphal Jesus,” “The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague,” “The Celtic World,” “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain,” “Fundamentals of Photography,” “How to Draw,” “Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language,” “Outsmart Yourself: Brain-Based Strategies to a Better You,” “Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation,” “The Rise of Rome” (The Great Courses Signature)
“From the Ashes,” “Marrying Father Christmas,” “Royal New Year’s Eve,” and “When Hope Calls” (Hallmark Movies Now)
“Las Aparicio,” “Me late chocolate,” “Pastorela,” and “Yule Log” (Pantaya)
“Aerial Cities,” “America in Color,” “Million Dollar American Princesses,” and “Orangutan Jungle School” (Smithsonian Channel Plus)
“Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley,” “Feliz Navidad – Boney M,” “Last Christmas – Wham!,” “Jingle Bells,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas – Kids” (Stingray Karaoke)
“Angels in the Snow,” “Christmas Angel,” “DNA Dinners,” “Marry Me for Christmas” (UP Faith & Family)
HBO + Cinemax Value Pack

 

Cinedigm Launches SVOD Services on The Roku Channel

Cinedigm June 12 announced the launch of SVOD services on The Roku Channel. Roku users can access CONtv, Dove Channel and Docurama beginning today.

Roku Channel users can add the networks to their lineup for $4.99 a month for each. Viewers can browse CONtv, Dove, and Docurama’s programming libraries, personalized recommendations with a free trial period.

Dove Channel features an extensive selection of values-based films, children’s programs, documentaries and series. All content meets the standards of The Dove Foundation and its Faith & Family Dove Seals of Approval.

Dove Channel’s programming lineup include the long-running Canadian drama “Heartland,” Elizabeth Banks in “Lovely Still,” the animated adventure “Ribbit,” and William H. Macy and Brittany Snow in the faith-based drama Dial A Prayer, among many others.

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Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks in ‘Lovely Still’

CONtv gives audiences access to hundreds of hours of content from an eclectic collection that puts the spotlight on elusive cult films and television shows, and celebrated genre movies ranging from sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, to anime, grindhouse, and martial arts action.

Titles include Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!, and Angela Anaconda, as well as art tutorial The Joy Of Painting with Bob Ross, the thriller Open Windows, and Selena Gomez in the 2014 rock n’ roll comedy Behaving Badly.

Docurama claims to be the first streaming video service devoted to documentary films. Curated by top experts and critics, Docurama delivers hundreds of hours of acclaimed documentaries suited to viewers of all tastes — featuring a content roster covering everything from personal profiles, sports and music, to hard-hitting political exposés and insightful interviews.

“Cinedigm is proud to continue our partnership with Roku, as we launch SVOD services for three of our most popular outlets on The Roku Channel,” Erick Opeka, president of digital networks at Cinedigm, said in a statement. “We look forward to providing Roku users with the eclectic premium programming that our networks are known for.”

Cinedigm’s CONtv, Docurama Available on Comcast’s Xfinity Service

Cinedigm April 26 announced that its subscription video-on-demand services CONtv and Docurama are now available on Comcast’s cloud-based Xfinity X1 platform.

X1 subs can stream CONtv’s roster of classic cult films and forgotten series, and Docurama’s library of award-winning documentaries directly on their televisions. The two Cinedigm properties follow faith-based network The Dove Channel, which launched on X1 last year.

CONtv and Docurama can be added to X1 customers’ service for $4.99 and $2.99 per month respectively, and Internet-only customers can also subscribe via Xfinity Flex.

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This month, X1 customers can enjoy CONtv’s newest additions such as childhood classics “Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego” and “Angela Anaconda,” as well as the art tutorial “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross, the sword-and-sorcery Arthur & Merlin, and Selena Gomez in the 2014 rock n’ roll comedy Behaving Badly.

Curated by the industry’s top experts and critics, Docurama delivers hundreds of hours of acclaimed documentaries suited to viewers of all tastes—boasting a content roster covering everything from personal profiles, sports, and music, to hard-hitting political exposés and insightful interviews.

“These launches further our commitment to redefining the traditional viewing experience and provide even more viewers across the country with the same programming that our networks are known for — appealing to viewers of all tastes, whether they’re sci-fi enthusiasts or looking for something a little more down-to-earth,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Cinedigm Bows CONtv on AVOD Service Pluto TV

Cinedigm April 16 announced the launch of genre-focused CONtv on the ad-supported online television service Pluto TV.

The latter’s users will have access to CONtv’s library of films, classic TV series and original curated programming as a linear ad-supported version or premium SVOD option.

Launched in 2015, the $4.99 monthly CONtv features access to thousands of hours of content from an eclectic collection that puts the spotlight on elusive cult films and television shows, and genre movies ranging from sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, to anime, grindhouse, and martial arts epics.

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Pluto TV, a Viacom subsidiary, features more than 100 live and linear channels and thousands of movies and TV series on-demand. As part of the deal, Pluto TV’s monthly users will also be able to access Cinedigm’s over-the-top networks (i.e. The Dove Channel, Documrama, etc.) across all streaming, mobile and web-based devices.

This month’s slate of new additions include classics, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest! and Angela Anaconda, as well as art tutorial “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross, thriller Open Windows, starring Elijah Wood, and Selena Gomez in the 2014 rock n’ roll comedy Behaving Badly.

“This launch marks the continuation of Cinedigm’s partnership with Pluto TV, furthering our commitment to redefining the traditional television landscape by offering viewers unique premium programming,” Erick Opeka, president of digital networks at Cinedigm, said in a statement.

“We constantly strive to provide content that appeals to both broad and niche audiences. CONtv delivers this ideal offering to viewers adding greater dimension to Pluto’s extensive library of content,” said Amy Kuessner, SVP of content partnerships for San Franciosco-based Pluto TV.

Cinedigm Closes Acquisition of Viewster and Subsidiary Viewster Anime

Cinedigm Feb. 5 announced the acquisition of video-on-demand service Viewster and its subsidiary Viewster Anime, in a deal that bolsters Cinedigm’s extensive OTT content portfolio.

The Los Angeles-based home entertainment distributor immediately takes over ownership and management of all Viewster and Viewster Anime content, augmenting the platforms’ roster of offerings into Cinedigm’s library of channels and content, with select programming debuting on the latter’s lifestyle network CONtv.

Cinedigm will also overseeing operation of all content, applications and social assets belonging to both platforms. Ad sales will be handled in-house and through Cinedigm’s network of partners.

Viewster Anime will continue to exist as a subscription channel on Amazon Channels as well as on The Roku Channel. Cinedigm also plans to bring ad-supported, linear and subscription offerings of Viewster to additional OEM, cable, telco and digital partners over the next several quarters.

“Viewster and Viewster Anime are perfect complements to our growing base of premium content networks,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement. “The acquisition of Viewster strengthens our market position in the fandom space, dramatically increases our global footprint, and greatly accelerates our plans to grow our ad-supported businesses.”

Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 2007, Viewster has emerged as a competitive force in the global VOD industry — delivering digital content, and establishing a branded presence in more than 30 international markets, a combined 256,000 subscribers across YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, as well as more than 1.1 million monthly active viewers globally.

The acquisition expands Cinedigm’s OTT video customer base, which achieved over 370% year-over-year growth in ad-supported user base across linear and ad-supported VOD platforms in 2018 alone.

Cinedigm will continue to distribute Viewster Anime as a standalone brand, featuring films and series from Japan.

Acquired content includes movies such as Jin-Roh: The Wolf BrigadeFist Of The North Star, and Galaxy Express 999, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and Night On The Galactic Railroad, as well as series such as “Street Fighter II: The Animated Series,” “Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact!,” “Gunslinger Girl,” “GATE,” and “Food Wars,” among many others.

 

Cinedigm OTT Video Channels Top 102,000 Subscribers, 2.4M AVOD Viewers

Home entertainment distributor Cinedigm announced several milestones for its portfolio of over-the-top video services – including an estimated 2.4 million monthly active ad-supported viewers and 102,000 active subscribers.

The Los Angeles-based distributor’s OTT channels, which include Dove Channel, CONtv, Docurama, CombatGo and Wham Network, offer nearly 12,000 hours of movie, television and live entertainment.

Pending services include Korean, Chinese and South East Asian pop culture network HallyPop and Bambu, offering Chinese action movies, serial dramas, romantic comedies, sci-fi, horror, as well as music and reality series to American audiences.

Cinedigm said it facilitated channel launches across 10 new distribution partners over the last two quarters, including Dish Network, Sling TV, Comcast Xfinity, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo, Pluto TV, Sinclair’s Stirr, Vizio Watch Free TV, and The Roku Channel, representing a total base of more than 126 million customers and devices.

“Our accomplishments in the last few months demonstrate Cinedigm’s vision of effectively delivering premium OTT entertainment content globally, no matter the device or business model,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Opeka said the company would continue to focus on launching new channels, investing in technology, growing the user base, monetizing ad-supported offerings and expanding its footprint of addressable devices.

Indeed, Cinedigm OTT services achieved 370% year-over-year growth in ad-supported user base across linear and ad-supported VOD platforms. Achieved over 205% quarter-over-quarter growth in connected television ad-requests. Grew content library by 6,200 film and television assets – more than 116% year-over-year.

Grew total social media footprint to 857,000 followers across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Cinedigm also acquired ComicBlitz, a subscription digital comic service, and announced the acquisition of Viewster, a pop-culture ad-supported streaming service. These acquisitions add more than 7,100 movie, television and digital publishing assets from more than 70 content partners.

It launched Matchpoint, an OTT platform and application framework that speeds time to market, while reducing the total operating expense for channel operators and content distributors.

 

Cinedigm Partners with Samsung for OTT Video Services

Cinedigm Dec. 18 announced a partnership with Samsung to give viewers access to the home entertainment distributor’s over-the-top video platforms — fandom-dedicated CONtv and the family friendly faith-based Dove Channel — available on Samsung’s TV Plus video service.

TV Plus is Samsung’s owned and operated video service, which provides access to a variety of free streaming channels covering sports, lifestyle, and related third-party content on select Samsung TVs.

It does not require a subscription fee, account set-up, or credit card info to access. CONtv and the Dove Channel – which do require separate subscriptions – are currently available on 2017 and 2018 Samsung Smart TV models, and will be rolling out to more in the future.

CONtv offers access to thousands of hours of content showcasing an eclectic catalog of must-watch favorites featuring quintessential cult films, and classic television shows, spanning a wide array of genres including sci-fi, horror, fantasy, anime, grindhouse, and martial arts.

Dove Channel offers viewers a large library of high-quality values-based films, children’s programs, documentaries, and series. All content featured on Dove Channel meets the standards of The Dove Foundation and its esteemed Faith & Family Dove Seals of Approval — serving as an invaluable resource for families across the country for over 27 years.

“Samsung is the top television brand on the market today,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement. “Cinedigm is proud to partner with them to bring two of our most popular digital-first networks to their users on their convenient TV Plus service.”

 

 

Cinedigm Makes Deal to Put CONtv Digital Channel on OONA Indonesia TV

Cinedigm, in conjunction with global distribution company JungoTV, will launch its fandom-focused digital channel CONtv on the mobile platform OONA Indonesia TV as an AVOD offering.

The deal gives OONA TV’s 185 million users free access to the channel’s library. The subscription-free OTT OONA mobile app provides interactive entertainment and customizable live linear and VOD content for users on the go. It is on course to provide content to billions of people in other parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, the U.S. and Europe, according to a Cinedigm release.

CONtv, devoted exclusively to fandom, showcases an eclectic catalog of cult films, classic TV shows, and genre movies encompassing sci-fi, horror, fantasy, anime, grindhouse and martial arts action.

“OONA TV has quickly emerged as a major power in the digital entertainment landscape,” said Erick Opeka, Cinedigm’s president of digital networks, in a statement. “Through partnering with a truly cutting-edge platform such as OONA TV, Cinedigm continues its commitment to redefining and revolutionizing the traditional viewing experience for users across the world. Indonesia is a beacon for the fandom lifestyle, and we’re excited to provide OONA TV’s 185 million subscribers with classic fan-favorites, rare television series, and original programming that they can only find on CONtv when we launch.”

“Cinedigm is synonymous with entertainment magic,” said Dominique Ullmann, head of content partnerships at OONA, in a statement.