Sling TV Offers One-Year Price Guarantee

Sling TV has instituted a one-year price guarantee for all new and existing customers as online competitors, such as FuboTV and YouTube TV, have announced price hikes.

“In the current economic environment, many Americans are taking a hard look at their budgets,” read a July 1 company blog from Michael Schwimmer, group president, Sling TV. “Sling TV knows how difficult it can be to see any bill go up while trying to make ends meet or saving for the future.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

For customers who sign up for Sling TV or who have an existing account by Aug. 1, 2020, Sling TV will guarantee their current price on any Sling TV service through Aug. 1, 2021.

“We believe now is not the time to make our customers choose between staying informed and entertained, and putting dinner on the table,” he wrote. “Our hope is this one-year price guarantee will bring a sense of much needed stability in a time that feels uncertain to us all.”

Other offers include a 14-day free trial through July 6 and a free AirTV 2 with an OTA antenna for prepaying for three months of Sling TV (the combo allows access to local over-the-air broadcast networks).

‘Trolls World Tour’ Chalks Up Art at The Grove

In celebration of Trolls World Tour, designer and illustrator Keith Kaminski created a 15-foot, 3D chalk illustration of the character Tiny Diamond at the center of The Grove mall in Los Angeles. In the animated film — currently available for digital purchase and due on disc July 7 — Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick), Branch (Justin Timberlake) and the rest of the Trolls are back for another musical adventure. (Photos by Daniel Byun)

HBO Max Distributing Cannabis-Infused Gummies in New Promotion

In a sign of the times, WarnerMedia’s upstart SVOD platform HBO Now has begun marketing cannabis-infused edible gummies to help market new original series “Close Enough,” which premieres July 9.

Max is partnering with Sunderstorm’s Kanha Cannabis Infused Gummies and online distributor Eaze to launch a collection of character-inspired “Close Enough” edibles.

“Close Enough” is an animated comedy about a married couple, their 5-year-old daughter, and their two divorced best friends/roommates all living together on the east side of Los Angeles. They’re navigating that transitional time in your 30s when life is about growing up, but not growing old. It’s about juggling work, kids, and pursuing your dreams, while avoiding time-traveling snails, stripper clowns, and murderous mannequins. Their life may not be ideal but for now, it’s close enough.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“When crafting any campaign, our aim is always to create an experience for the audience that feels genuine and exciting,” Peter Sherman, SVP of program marketing at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“[Our] partnership with HBO Max is an exciting opportunity to showcase our delicious gummies to a brand new audience,” said Cameron Clarke, CEO of Sunderstorm, the parent company of Kanha.

Through the end of July, while supplies last, “Close Enough” Cannabis-Infused Gummies are available at select, licensed retailers in California. They will also be available for purchase and delivery via Eaze in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Paramount Offers Free Digital Rentals of ‘Selma’

Paramount Home Entertainment is offering free rentals of Selma via digital platforms through the end of the month.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film chronicles the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to secure equal voting rights in an event that forever altered history.

“55 years after the historic marches from Selma, as we witness the expression of decades of collective pain, we should reflect on Dr. King’s words: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'” read a Paramount statement. “We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965.”

Also this week, Warner Bros. made the feature film Just Mercy available for free to stream on digital platforms through the month of June in reaction to the outcry over the death of George Floyd. That film is about black attorney Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan), founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Ala. It co-stars Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

OTT.X to Honor Industry Heroes

OTT.X (formerly the Entertainment Merchants Association) is looking to honor industry “heroes.”

The group is looking for a team member who has gone out of his or her way to help neighbors, to help the community, to support health care workers, or to just do something good during the pandemic — or for a team member who has gone out of his or her way to help the company continue to serve its customers during the crisis.

“Just as the hard work of grocery and pharmacy teams are keeping our pantries and medicine cabinets full, all of the teams in our industry, at digital platforms, channels and retailers; at content companies; and at all of the service and technology companies that facilitate the flow of content ultimately to the consumer are playing an important role in providing the needed entertainment to keep everyone sane during these stay-at-home days,” according to OTT.X. “We need to recognize our own heroes.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Entries should include a brief paragraph nominating a hero or heroes and a photo if possible. In mid-June, OTT.X will hold an online live ceremony recognizing all the heroes and presenting a few special awards. Nominations must be sent no later than May 30 to mfisher@ottx.org and include “our ottx hero” in the subject line.

In addition, OTT.X is soliciting pictures of home offices and awarding prizes. Photos should be sent to mfisher@ottx.org and include “my new home office” in the subject line.

Hulu Launches Quiz Feature to Help Consumers Choose Content to Watch

Hulu is launching a new quiz to help viewers find content to watch on the service based on questions they answer about their current feelings.

The quiz takes inspiration from Hulu’s latest “Hulu Has Whatever You’re Feeling” ad campaign.

The quiz for both subscribers and non-subscribers gives users a personalized recommendation from more than 600 TV shows and movies. The four-question quiz produces a recommendation that allows Hulu subscribers to begin streaming directly from the site or add to “My Stuff” for viewing later. Additional recommendations are a click away with the “Give Me Another” button. For those watching as a family, suggestions will focus on only kid-friendly content.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“With so many people spending more time at home, it’s probably no surprise that TV streaming is on the rise,” read a Hulu press release. “In fact, binge viewing on Hulu has increased by 41% since the beginning of March and on average, our viewers are watching nine different titles in a given week — up 26% compared to the same time last year.” 

The quiz is at whatshouldiwatch.hulu.com.

HBO Max Releases New Spot for Service

A new spot released April 22 kicked off the brand marketing campaign for WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max. The campaign centers on the tagline “Where HBO Meets So Much More.”

HBO Max launches May 27 with 10,000 hours of programming, including the entire HBO service, titles from Warner Bros. and a monthly offering of new Max Originals.

The spot “aims to call attention to the connective tissue that runs through all of the iconic programming and characters who will call the new streamer home,” according to the service. Marketing plans intend to “show how HBO Max is not just more of HBO, but more than HBO,” according to the press release.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“HBO is the gold standard in terms of premium original content, and we are going to market on the strength of that brand and the power of the library,” said Chris Spadaccini, chief marketing officer, WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-to-Consumer. “But HBO Max offers so much more than just HBO. We are establishing HBO Max as a place where all your favorite shows and movies intersect in unexpected ways. There’s a really fun attitude and personality to the campaign and each one of our ads has an element of surprise and delight.”

Netflix Offers Free Documentary Streaming to Teachers on Its YouTube Channel

Netflix has expanded it free documentary screening program for teachers, offing a selection of titles on the Netflix U.S. YouTube channel.

“For many years, Netflix has allowed teachers to screen documentaries in their classrooms. However, this isn’t possible with schools closed,” read the Netflix blog post. “So at their request, we have made a selection of our documentary features and series available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube Channel.

“Each title also has educational resources available, which can be used by both students and teachers — and we’ll be doing Q&As with some of the creators behind these projects so that students can hear from them firsthand.

“We hope this will, in a small way, help teachers around the world.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The documentaries are currently available in English, but subtitles in more than a dozen languages will be available later this week, according to the post. “Please check the ratings so that you can make informed choices for your students and children,” the post requested.

Offered on the channel is the film 13th, Ava DuVernay’s documentary with a title that refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay, featuring a mixture of archival footage and testimony from a activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men. Educational resources are here.

Also available is season one of the series “Abstract.” “Abstract: The Art of Design” takes you beyond blueprints into the art, science, and philosophy of design. The series goes inside the minds of the world’s greatest designers, showcasing the most inspiring visionaries from a variety of disciplines whose work shapes our culture and future. Educational resources are here

Select episodes of the series “Babies” are available. Filmed over the course of three years, “Babies” explores the miracle of the first full year of life through the pioneering work of leading scientists from across the globe. The series examines the epic journey every person embarks on, from helpless newborn to independent toddler. The series follows the life-changing adventures of 15 international families and featuring the latest research from eminent scientists who share their personal journeys of discovery into the infant mind. Educational resources are here.

The film Chasing Coral  taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Educational materials are here.

Follow us on Instagram

Available are select episodes of the series “Explained.” In partnership with Vox Media Studios and Vox, this explainer series takes viewers deep inside a wide range of culturally relevant topics, questions and ideas. Each episode explores current events and social trends pulled from the zeitgeist, touching topics across politics, science, history and pop culture — featuring interviews with some of the most authoritative experts in their respective fields. Educational resources are coming soon.

The film Knock Down the House follows four women who mount grassroots campaigns against powerful incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections that tipped the balance of power. When tragedy struck her family in the middle of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts as a bartender to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn’t know what to do with the anger she felt about America’s broken health care system. Cori Bush, a registered nurse and pastor, was drawn to the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. A coal miner’s daughter, Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer from the environmental effects of the coal industry. Educational resources are here.

The series “Our Planet”  is available. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the eight-part series explores the wonders of our natural world from the creators of the award-winning series “Planet Earth.” Educational materials are here.

The short Period. End of Sentence. is available. The documentary short directed by Rayka Zehtabchi tells the story of women in a rural village outside Delhi, India, who fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation. For generations, these women didn’t have access to pads, which lead to health problems and girls missing school or dropping out entirely. But when a sanitary pad machine is installed in the village, the women learn to manufacture and market their own pads, empowering the women of their community. Educational resources are here.

The short The White Helmets is available. The Netflix original short documentary, set in Aleppo, Syria and Turkey in early 2016 follows three volunteer rescue workers as they put everything on the line to save civilians affected by the war, all the while wracked with worry about the safety of their own loved ones. Educational materials are here

The short Zion is available. It’s the portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler born without legs who grew up in foster care. Educational materials are here.

 

Sling TV Bows ‘Happy Hour Across America’ Campaign With Free TV

Sling TV is introducing “Happy Hour Across America,” offering free primetime TV nightly as a public service to American families practicing social distancing at home.

Starting April 14, those new to Sling TV can register to watch free TV every night from 5 p.m. to midnight.

“Since we can’t serve you a beverage or basket of hot wings, we’re introducing a new kind of happy hour — TV ‘on the house’ every night,” Warren Schlichting, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement. “Much like a real happy hour, TV is often a shared experience. So grab your favorite refreshment, tune in with your friends and family, and get those group chats ready.”

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, television news consumption on Sling TV climbed by triple digits over the last month, increasing 164%, according to the service. Viewers have been switching from news to entertainment starting at 6 p.m. EST with peak viewership hitting at 10 p.m. EST across Sling TV’s services, according to the company.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Happy Hour Across America” opens the Sling Blue service to new Sling customers, offering more than 50 live channels, free cloud DVR and more than 50,000 on-demand titles. It also allows simultaneous viewing on three screens. Sling Blue channels including A&E, AMC, Bravo, CNN, E!, Fox News, FX, HGTV, HLN, MSNBC and TLC.

Follow us on Instagram

“Happy Hour Across America” participants will have free access to several series premieres and TV programs, including:

  • “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery) season 16 premiere April 14
  • “Property Brothers: Forever Home” (HGTV)  season 3 premiere April 15
  • “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (Bravo) season 10 premiere April 15
  • “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX) season 2 premiere April 15
  • “Real Housewives of New York City” (Bravo) season 12, episode 3 April 16
  • “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (E!) season 18, episode 4 April 16
  • “90 Day Fiancé: Self-Quarantined” (TLC) limited series premiere April 20
  • “Better Call Saul” (AMC) season 5 finale April 20

Consumer can visit sling.com/deals/happy-hour to sign up.

FandangoNow to Host ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Live Watch Party Today

FandangoNow, the transactional video on-demand service from Fandango, at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET is hosting a live watch party of Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog.

The watch party will feature a live Twitter commentary from the film’s stars, Ben Schwartz (Sonic) and Lee Majdoub (Agent Stone) along with the film’s director, Jeff Fowler, exclusively on Fandango’s Twitter page, with the hashtag #SonicWatchParty.

“Sonic the Hedgehog” debuted on FandangoNow on March 31 and already ranks as one of the top-selling family titles on the service, according to FandangoNow.

Follow us on Instagram

Fans can submit questions for Schwartz and Fowler at #SonicWatchParty.

Sonic is currently available to purchase on FandangoNow  at $19.99 in HD and SD and in 4K ULTRA HD at $24.99 here.