Fox News International Streaming Video Service Expanding to 30 Countries

Fox News Media’s international streaming platform Fox News International is expanding operations in Chile, Panama and Portugal on Dec. 17. That brings the total number of countries with access to the news service to 30, surpassing Fox News Media’s original goal of reaching 20 countries by year’s end.

Subscribers to the platform, which launched in Mexico in August, have access to live feeds of Fox News Channel and Fox Business, plus a catalog of 20 on-demand programs. The service is available via iOS, Android, Apple TV and Android TV in all 30 countries; the service is also accessible through Amazon Fire TV.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the week surrounding the presidential election, the platform notched a record in total app downloads and iOS trials. According to Sensor Tower, Fox News International was listed among the top news apps on the Apple app store across Europe during the week of Nov. 2, including the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Finland, Czech Republic, Spain and the Netherlands.

A separate ad-supported streaming platform, Fox Weather, will launch in 2021 as parent Fox Corp. begins transitioning business from broadcast and pay-TV to over-the-top video distribution.

Verizon CEO: Free Disney+ Promotion a ‘Win, Win’

Following the Nov. 12 launch of the Disney+ subscription streaming service, Verizon began offering new and existing mobile subscribers 12 months of free access to the SVOD service.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told Fox Business response to the promotion has been strong. Indeed, 10 million consumers signed up for Disney+ in the first 24 hours, with 15 million reportedly becoming subscribers in the first five days — many due to the Verizon promo.

Verizon subs accessing Disney+ automatically transition to the $6.99 price plan after one year unless they cancel their membership.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We can partner with anyone, and we partner with the best brands and, of course, Disney+ is a win-win,” Vestberg said Dec. 5. “I mean, we are gaining and they are gaining in this partnership.”

Follow us on Instagram

The CEO wouldn’t disclose initial viewership data, saying the promo melds the telecom’s 5G partnership with Disney, which includes undisclosed initiatives with Disney Innovation Studios and theme parks.

Verizon had more than 156 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter this year.

“I think we both are very happy with … the start of [the relationship],” Vestberg said.

CBS, Viacom Re-Merger Nearly Complete; CBS Eyeing Higher Price Point for International ‘All Access’ Rollout

As expected, the Viacom and CBS re-merger could reportedly be announced as early as next week, pending last-minute stock exchange issues.

Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino Aug. 9 on Twitter said the deal reuniting CBS with parent Viacom after a 13-year split is in the hands of the companies’ respective boards.

Viacom and CBS are majority owned by family-owned National Amusements, which is operated by Shari Redstone on behalf of her ailing 96-year-old father, Sumner Redstone.

Shari Redstone has pushed for the merger, claiming media consolidation is a perquisite for navigating the rapidly changing media landscape and over-the-top video distribution. She also wants Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to lead the combined companies.

Redstone’s strategy was initially rebuffed by former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who wanted the top job. With Moonves out following #MeToo issues, consummation of the merger seemed a formality.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Separately, CBS says it will have 25 million combined CBS All Access/Showtime OTT subscribers by 2022.

To get there the media giant is rolling out All Access internationally in attempt to borrow a page from Netflix’s subscriber growth playbook.

All Access, like Hulu, is available with limited ads for $5.99 monthly, or ad-free for $9.99 ($11.99 for Hulu).

Speaking on the Aug. 8 fiscal call, acting CEO Joe Ianniello said the company would target Latin America and Europe with the more expensive $9.99 price point.

“Two-thirds of the All Access subs are taking the limited commercial option,” he said. “So obviously, the vast majority of that is the $9.99 price point.”

Ianniello contends there is strong demand for premium content delivered via broadband in the international marketplace.

“I just look at the number of people in the consumption of Netflix,” he said. “I’m very encouraged that this is single-handedly the largest opportunity that we have in front of us.”

Ianniello said CBS targets international distribution of proprietary content on franchise-per-franchise basis. Characterizing the U.S. market as “limited” to 325 million people, the executive contends a global audience in the billions satisfies long-term fiscal goals.

“Our thought is if [international is] willing to pay us [$9.99], we’re going to look at that hard,” Ianniello said. “But if they’re not, we’re going to put it through our own [domestic] infrastructure.”

With Disney announcing it would bundle pending SVOD service Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu, Ianniello said CBS is content limiting its OTT bundling to All Access and Showtime.

“I can understand why others want to kind of do that together because people will subscribe for different reasons,” he said.

With All Access nearly five years old, Ianniello says the company understands its appeal and marketing with Showtime.

“It’s an opportunity we don’t force consumers to do it,” he said. “They can buy part; if they want to buy them together, we obviously discount that. We think again those are different offerings and complementary as well.”