Philo Channels Joining Google TV

All Philo channels and content are being fully integrated into Google TV, according to a blog post from Philo’s Jane Marks.

The channels will be rolling out to users over the next couple of days, she wrote.

Philo subscribers using Google TV can access their shows and Philo channels directly from the “Live” tab, and see customized recommendations of more Philo content to watch in the “For You” tab.

To activate their account users much have an active Philo subscription and a Google TV device; select Philo in the Google TV settings under “Your services”; and play Philo channels by selecting the “Live” tab on Google TV.

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Philo is also available on all Android and Android TV devices, Fire Tablets and Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iOS/iPad, Roku, PC/Mac Web browsers and Chromecast built-in devices.

Philo currently offers 60-plus channels for $25 and allows three separate streams on three different devices with up to 10 profiles.

Google TV is available on Chromecast with Google TV, Sony’s new Bravia XR TV line-up with Google TV, and TCL’s 5-Series and 6-Series with Google TV.

Redbox Inks Streaming Deal With Game Show Network

Redbox has signed a content agreement with Game Show Network to bring its game shows and movie channels to Redbox’s free live TV streaming service.

Redbox viewers will be able to stream classic movies from the ’70s and ’80s, Westerns and game show action from classic shows to brand-new series. The channels can be accessed through Redbox’s streaming app, which is available on a variety of devices, including Roku, Vizio, Samsung, iOS, and Android.

Game Show Central features new game shows, including “Idiotest,” “Catch 21,” “Baggage” and “America Says.” Cinevault 80s will have movies titles such as Murphy’s Romance starring Sally Field. Cinevault 70s offers films such as The Deep starring Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte. Cinevault Westerns features such films as Mackenna’s Gold starring Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif and Telly Savalas, and They Came to Codura starring Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth.

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“Both the Cinevault and Game Show Central channels have fantastic content, which we know will be popular with our viewers, and we’re thrilled we can partner with Game Show Network to bring them to the Free Live TV Service,” said Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand. “These four entertainment channels will bring hours of fun for the whole family.”

Hulu Adds NFL Network to Live TV Channel Line-Up

NFL Network is now available to Hulu’s Live TV subscribers in the $64.99 a month subscription plan.

The addition of NFL Network to Hulu’s 75-plus live TV channel line-up  brings live NFL preseason games, exclusive live NFL regular season games, studio shows such as “Good Morning Football” and “NFL Total Access,” as well as “NFL GameDay Morning” and “NFL Now,” and original series such as “A Football Life,” “NFL 360” and “America’s Game.”

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Hulu has also launched a sports add-on featuring six sports networks with a collection of live games, recent highlights, sports news and events. For $9.99 per month, Hulu’s Live TV subscribers can add NFL RedZone, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG and TVG2 to their live TV line-up.

“With the launch of NFL Network and our new Sports Add-on, Hulu + Live TV continues to be the ultimate destination for sports fans to watch thousands of hours of live and on­demand sports programming,” Reagan Feeney, Hulu SVP of Live TV content programming and partnerships, said in a statement. “Starting today, viewers can bring even more game day action to their living room with live games and events, original shows, motorsports, horse racing and much more.”

“We are excited to bring NFL Network and NFL RedZone to Hulu + Live TV subscribers,” Hans Schroeder, EVP and COO of NFL Media, said in a statement. “One of our top priorities as a League remains broadening the distribution platforms for NFL content, and so we’re very pleased to bring our lineup of award-winning shows and live games to Hulu’s live subscribers.”

Cinedigm Launches Three Channels on Sling TV

Cinedigm has placed three of its channels on Sling TV: the family friendly Dove Channel, pop culture channel CONtv and documentary channel Docurama.

Docurama is a streaming service dedicated to bringing audiences acclaimed, cutting-edge documentaries. Popular titles include Anthony Bourdain: A Cook’s Tour, Beatles: How The Beatles Changed The World and Kobe: The Life of a Legend.

The Dove Channel is a source for family friendly content, feature films and television titles suitable for all audiences. It features comedy classics such as “The Little Rascals,” young adult series “H20: Just Add Water” and “Dance Academy,” and faith favorites such as The Ultimate Gift.

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CONtv: carries a diverse range of film and television series focusing on the action/thriller, horror, anime and sci-fi/fantasy genres, including films featuring superstars such as Milo Gibson and Peter Facinelli (Gangster Land) and anime classics such as “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

Sling TV delivers live and on-demand television to compatible internet-connected devices through monthly subscriptions starting at $35 per month. Through its genre-based “Extras,” customers can pick their personal channel lineup.

“Since its inception, Sling TV has been at the forefront of live TV streaming,” Jennifer Soltesz, VP of business development and strategy at Cinedigm, said in a statement. “Working with Sling TV not only allows us to reach a diverse, new audience, but it gives us a partner with the same forward-thinking drive. We can’t wait to show these new customers the amazing networks Cinedigm has to offer.”

Sling TV Bowing New Interface

Sling TV has launched a new app in beta that features a personalized discovery engine and new interface features.

The new app is available to select customers using Amazon Fire TV devices and will continue rolling out across all Sling TV compatible devices throughout the year, including availability on Roku devices this summer.

“Our goal with the new app is clear: to make our customer experience as compelling as the extraordinary live content we deliver,” Michael Schwimmer, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement. “After a year of talking to customers and working with our design and advanced engineering teams, we’re happy to roll out the new Sling TV app to deliver the best in live sports, news and entertainment, at the same unbeatable low price point. Sling TV has always been a leader in the industry known for innovation and value. With our new app, customers will know Sling TV as a first-class streaming experience.”

The new design is the most comprehensive update in Sling TV’s history, according to the service. Key changes include:

  • A new home screen with a new section that spotlights movies and shows chosen specifically for the user;
  • A reimagined guide, making it easier to mark favorite channels, filter and A-Z sort the guide order, quickly record a show and explore channel details;
  • A new, dedicated DVR tab that allows users to easily watch and manage all recorded content in one place;
  • The ability to pause, rewind, fast-forward and record live TV, and jump between recently watched channels without missing a moment;
  • A new, streamlined navigation on the left that makes it easier to discover content and allow users to quickly see on-demand content or browse recordings;
  • A new Smart Search feature that narrows down the options, allows users to find previous searches with just one click and instantly shows results as users type; and
  • Enhanced discovery and navigation tools for the service’s 150,000-plus on-demand TV shows, movies and more.

 

“When we began the process of reimagining the app, we started with the customer. After immense testing and direct feedback across our customer base, we’ve developed a design that gives the user an effortless experience,” Jon Lin, VP of product for Sling TV, said in a statement. “If a streaming app is done right, it should be practically invisible, allowing the user to get to the most relevant content quickly and easily — the new SLING TV experience does just that.”

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In addition, the home screen spotlights a mix of personalized recommendations and editorial curation, the dedicated DVR tab has a trash bin making it easy to delete and manage storage capacity, and the reimagined guide allows users to expand program view to get more details without a single click.

For a limited time, new and returning customers can take advantage of a discount offer — $10 for their first month of Sling TV and 200 hours of free DVR Plus (a $30 discount).

For more information, visit sling.com/newapp.

Hulu + Live TV Adds Nine ViacomCBS Networks

Hulu + Live TV is adding nine ViacomCBS networks to its channel lineup, including Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, VH1, CMT, MTV, TV Land and the Paramount Network.

Subscribers will also have on-demand access to TV series titles such as “Freaks & Geeks,” “Moesha” and “Sister Sister.”

Monthly subscription pricing for Hulu + Live TV will remain at $64.99 per month.

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Five ViacomCBS networks — BETher, MTV2, NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic — will join Hulu’s entertainment add-on.

Hulu + Live TV offers more than 65 live TV channels, plus the core Hulu on-demand service (normally $5.99 per month as a standalone offering).

FuboTV Inks Deal With Marquee Sports Network for Cubs Game Coverage

FuboTV and Marquee Sports Network have entered into a carriage agreement that will bring Chicago Cubs game coverage to the live TV streaming platform in the coming weeks.

Through FuboTV, subscribers throughout the Marquee Sports Network territory will have access to all Marquee programming, including all non-nationally televised regular season Chicago Cubs games, pregame and postgame shows, exclusive content and original programming. The regional sports network (RSN) will be available in FuboTV’s basic English language channel package in the Chicago area and surrounding regions, including Indianapolis, South Bend and Des Moines.

Fans can stream FuboTV on Android and iOS smartphone and tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Android Smart TVs, Apple TV and Apple’s TV app, Chromecast, Hisense Smart TVs, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One’s family of devices and the web.

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In addition to the Marquee Sports Network, FuboTV includes more than 50,000 live sporting events annually — many streaming in 4K. The agreement also increases FuboTV’s local coverage in Chicago, where it already carries ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo and Univision affiliates alongside national sports networks ESPN, FS1, CBS Sports Network, Big Ten Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network and NHL Network, among others.

“We are thrilled to have FuboTV offering Marquee Sports Network to Cubs fans. FuboTV has prioritized live sports and we look forward to them carrying Cubs baseball all season long,” said Marquee Sports Network GM Mike McCarthy in a statement.

“As we kick off the hotly anticipated 2021 baseball season, fuboTV is thrilled to bring consumers Marquee Sports Network’s extensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs,” FuboTV’s SVP of content strategy and acquisition, Ben Grad said in a statement. “The addition of Marquee Sports Network to our leading sports, news and entertainment portfolio makes FuboTV a great streaming choice for Cubs fans, as well as other Chicagoans looking to cut the cord.”

“We’re excited to add Marquee Sports Network and their coverage of the Chicago Cubs to FuboTV,” FuboTV co-founder and CEO David Gandler said in a statement. “Our Fubo Gaming subsidiary is headquartered in Chicago, and the midwest market, particularly Indiana and Iowa where we recently closed market access agreements, will be a key cluster for our gaming strategy in the future.”

NFL Wildcard Weekend Broke Broadcast/Streaming Molds

The NFL’s just-concluded busy wildcard playoff weekend saw 12 teams reduced to eight advancing to the divisional round, beginning Jan. 16. Notably, for the first time playoff games were live-streamed (ESPN+, Peacock) and broadcast on a children’s network (Nickelodeon), in addition to the usual TV networks.

During the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Chicago Bears, Nickelodeon viewers got see trademark green slime sprayed virtually into the end zone and across the screen after Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas scored a touchdown. The game drew Nickelodeon’s largest audience in four years with 2 million viewers.

While the simulcast with CBS Sports underscored ViacomCBS’s desire to involve its brands (Nickelodeon) across new markets, for the NFL, the game represented an opportunity to reach a new demo early.

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“Our entire model is based on reach,” Hans Schroeder, EVP and COO of NFL Media, said in an interview Sunday night. “The positive responses have been overwhelming [for the Nickelodeon game], but what we did with CBS was a continuation of what we did across Sunday.”

On Disney-owned ESPN+, streamers saw analytics on steroids with an individual play’s likelihood of succeeding put on display. Indeed, an interception thrown by Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson only had only a 28% chance of being caught by the receiver initially.

Amazon Prime Video and sister company Twitch were the first streaming platforms to offer live NFL coverage through “Thursday Night Football,” featuring the sport’s first female broadcast team.

“When you have as broad appeal as we’re fortunate to have, we want to make sure we’re putting out a broad set of experiences on as many screens as we can, and increase the way our fans engage and enjoy the games,” Schroeder said.

Indeed, ESPN will feature tonight NCAA College Football National Championship Game between The Ohio State Buckeyes and University of Alabama Crimson Tide across 14 separate broadcasts, including streaming.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock Live Streaming Browns-Steelers NFL Wild Card Game

NBCUniversal’s upstart SVOD service Peacock is making good on its pledge to offer major live sports. In a first, the streamer Jan. 6 announced it would offer subscribers access to NBC Sports’ coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports is broadcasting the game on NBC and Telemundo.

This will be the first time NFL live game coverage will stream on Peacock.

In addition, former ESPN host Michael Smith and regional NBC Sports host Michael Holley, co-anchors of the Peacock show, “Brother From Another,” will lead Peacock’s first-ever post-game show on Sunday night immediately following NBC’s post-game show coverage. Smith and Holley will provide Browns-Steelers game analysis and perspectives to recap the full weekend slate of six NFL Wild Card playoff games. Coverage will begin streaming following the conclusion of Browns-Steelers at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET.

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To date, only Amazon Prime Video has dabbled with live-streaming professional sports, including “NFL Thursday Night Football” and select Premier League soccer matches. Netflix has heretofore refused to consider the live sports market, citing reluctance to get into cost-prohibitive license rights bidding.

 

Gracenote Launches Statistics and Related Content Feature for Live Sports

Nielsen’s Gracenote is launching a new live sports solution designed to help smart-TV and auto manufacturers display game statistics and other related content in real-time.

Leveraging Gracenote Global Sports Data, CE manufacturers and automakers can integrate real-time team statistics, recent game results and live updates into TV and video home screens and auto infotainment systems.

By accessing Gracenote Sports Data through plug and play widgets, a smart-TV maker can present previews of upcoming games featuring a viewer’s favorite teams followed by dynamic updates during game play. Notifications can be created to offer ways to navigate directly to the game broadcast or stream on a consumer’s preferred service at home. Or a connected car manufacturer can deliver game scores and league standings to infotainment screens in real-time.

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“Live sports are an increasingly important differentiator for entertainment platforms seeking to increase user engagement,” Simon Adams, Gracenote chief product officer, said in a statement. “For years, Gracenote has powered sports viewing experiences for the largest TV providers in the world. With Gracenote Global Sports Widgets, CE companies and automakers can easily launch new sports experiences which maximize audience engagement and drive consumption while minimizing development costs and engineering resources.”

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At launch, the Gracenote Sports Widgets will cover major North American sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL; international football leagues such as the English Premier League; Germany’s Bundesliga; Ligue 1 in France; Serie A in Italy; Spain’s La Liga; Brasileirão Assaí in Brazil; Mexico’s Liga BBVA MX; as well as Korean baseball league KBO. Languages offered include English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Additional coverage of global sports leagues will be made available throughout the year.

Gracenote is the content services arm of Nielsen Media.