Comcast’s Ad-Supported Xumo Streaming TV Service Launches in Canada

Comcast June 2 announced that its ad-supported streaming TV service Xumo has launched in Canada on the Ignite Entertainment platform, available on both Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream services — the first international expansion for the Xumo app.

“The launch of the Xumo app on Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream is an important milestone in our growing app portfolio,” Chris Hall, SVP of product at Xumo, said in a statement.

Channels available within the app include Radio Canada, CBC News, XUMO Free Movies, ABC News Live, The Johnny Carson Show, Free Action Movies, America’s Test Kitchen, beIN Sports Xtra, batteryPop and more.

“With the integration of Xumo, we are expanding our content library and elevating Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream as the destination of entertainment, giving more choice and unparalleled access to the most integrated free content of any other major provider in Canada,” added Myrianne Collin, chief marketing officer for Rogers Communications.

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Dish Posts 815,000 Combined Q1 Pay-TV, Sling TV Sub Loss

The first fiscal quarter of 2022 was not a good one for Dish Network. The long-time satellite TV operator reported significant subscriber losses in both its legacy pay-TV business as well as pioneering online TV segment.

The company reported a first-quarter (ended March 31) loss of 693,000 legacy pay-TV subscribers, to end the period with 7.99 million paying subs. That compared with 8.68 million subs in the prior-year period. In its pioneering online TV business unit, Sling TV saw a sub loss of 122,000 to end the period with 2.25 million subs, compared with 2.37 million a year ago.

At the end of the quarter, Dish had 10.245 million combined pay-TV/online TV subscribers in the U.S.

The Sling TV sub loss is especially significant since the service was seen as a savior to the declining pay-TV industry since its launch in 2015. Instead, the online TV market is now led by Hulu + Live TV and Google TV, among others.

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Magnite: 68% of Connected-TV Viewers Engage With Commercials

The ongoing consumer migration toward televisions connected to the internet finds that 68% of CTV viewers use at least one live streaming video device, while also engaging with the commercials. Citing a proprietary study, “CTV Live Streaming: TV’s Next Big Moment,” Magnite Research found that a majority of survey respondents are gravitating toward living TV streaming.

The survey was fielded online within the United States from Dec. 23-30, 2021, among 1,500 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who watch at least seven hours of television per week.

“We commissioned this study to better understand how people access and interact with this [streamed] content,” Sean Buckley, chief revenue officer at Magnite, said in a statement.

Buckley said the data suggests that engagement with live video content extends to the advertising that airs alongside it.

“With more audiences tuning into live-TV via streaming, it’s another indicator that advertisers should be actively exploring this channel,” he said.

While 22% of cable subscribers surveyed in the study said they plan to cancel their pay-TV service within the next six months, 44% said they would cancel if they could access live sports and events through streaming.

Magnite contends the feedback shows that greater awareness and education around live streaming content may spur more cable subscribers to adopt streaming services in place of or in addition to their existing cable service.

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Indeed, respondents who stream live sports showed higher levels of acceptance for advertising. Nearly half of live sports streamers (49%) agreed with the statement: “TV ads are an important part of my TV watching experience,” and 62% of live sports streamers said they had discovered new products as a result of watching ads on streaming services.

“CTV is a premium viewing experience with highly engaged audiences that can’t be reached via traditional linear and pay-TV,” added Diana Horowitz, SVP of advertising sales at FuboTV, a sports-themed online TV platform. “Historically live sports kept audiences tied to their cable subscriptions. That’s no longer the case with … marquee events and regional sports networks widely available on CTV platforms.”

Horowitz said 90% of FuboTV viewers watch live content, and 93% of sports content on the platform is viewed live. Other data contends that live sports streamers are likely to watch multiple ad-supported services with an average of 3.6 sports apps.

Sports fans prefer to watch live over watching on demand — 70% of live sports programming is watched in real time. About 67% sports streamers pay more attention to ads that match their lifestyle and interests.

FuboTV Adds ‘FanView’ Statistics to Apple TV

Online television platform FuboTV Jan. 19 announced it has expanded its “Multiview” mode on Apple TV to support elements of its “FanView” feature as the company continues to integrate interactivity into its live-TV streaming service.

The updates come as FuboTV continues rolling out real-money wagering with Fubo Sportsbook, an app that syncs with the live TV streaming on FuboTV. Fubo Sportsbook is currently available in Iowa and Arizona with additional states to follow pending regulatory approvals.

Subscribers can now create their own custom sports viewing dashboard on Apple TV combining multiple streams (Multiview) with live stats and scores (FanView), configured on screen just as they like. With this latest technology, subs can watch up to two live sporting events simultaneously while also placing different FanView widgets right alongside each video player. FanView widget options include statistics of each live game being viewed as well as scores from games across all of the top leagues. While in FanView’s scoreboard widget, subs can also navigate through live scores and, with one click, go directly into a selected game, no channel change required.

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Subscribers who do not want to enable FanView can continue to stream up to four sports, news and entertainment channels simultaneously while in Multiview mode on Apple TV. The updated Multiview feature is currently available for select subs and will be rolled out nationwide in the coming days.

“Live sports in particular perfectly lends itself to enhanced viewing experiences,” Mike Berkley, chief product officer for FuboTV, said in a statement. “We know our subscribers want to keep track of multiple games and leagues, and they want to engage with what they’re watching. We believe this is the most personalized and customized TV viewing experience available on the market.”

FuboTV Says It Ended 2021 With 1.1 Million Subscribers

Sports-themed online TV service FuboTV Jan. 10 announced preliminary fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2021) financial results, including revenue and subscriber growth, ahead of its participation at this week’s 24th Annual Needham Virtual Growth Conference investor event.

Both revenue and subscriber metrics are projected to exceed previously issued guidance resulting in a record quarter and year for FuboTV.

Total Q4 revenue is expected to be between $215 million — $220 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was from $205 million to 210 million for the quarter.

Full-year 2021 total revenue is expected to be between $622 million and 627 million, an increase of more than 138%. Prior guidance was from $612 million to $617 million.

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Advertising revenue topped $25 million, an increase in excess of 90%, crossing an annual run rate of $100 million. Paid subscribers at year’s end are expected to exceed 1.1 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was around 1 million. FuboTV expects to end the quarter with more than $375 million of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash.

“[Our] strong preliminary fourth-quarter results close out a pivotal year where we made meaningful advancements against our mission to define a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television,” co-founder/CEO David Gandler said in a statement.

Gandler cited improvements in subscriber churn for generating “triple-digit” revenue growth, increased operating leverage and efficiencies.

“This wraps up a phenomenal year,” he said.

Gandler added that the company remains “very pleased” with the ongoing integration of Molotov, the Paris-based live TV streaming platform acquired in December.

“While still early, our progress to date continues to reinforce our belief that the synergies of the combined companies will give us operating leverage to build a scalable global platform with minimal incremental spend,” he said.

Parks: Online TV Household Adoption Nears 20%

Launched in 2015, online television was created in an effort to combat subscription streaming VOD as well as the eroding pay-TV market.

New data from Parks Associates finds that 19% of U.S. broadband households now have an online TV service, which typically offer bundles of live channels via third-party connected devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.

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“Many households who cut the traditional pay-TV cord or never subscribed in the first place, are looking for a live and more linear video viewing experience via online options, which is driving [online TV] service uptake,” Paul Erickson, senior analyst at Parks, said in a statement. “These services also promise less-costly investment and more content flexibility, which increases the appeal among today’s video viewers, who are accustomed to the benefits of OTT solutions.”

Frndly TV Taps Magnite to Monetize Streaming Content

Frndly TV, a low-cost online TV service, Nov. 16 announced it has inked a deal with Magnite to be its ad server and primary “supply-side platform” in a bid to grow its advertising revenue. 

Launched in October 2019, Frndly TV aims to differentiate itself from Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV and others, by offering more than 30 live channels for less than $10 per month. With ad-supported streaming on the rise, the streamer contends that working with Magnite opens up new opportunities for ad buyers, including targeting the platform’s 60% female subscribers, with 55% between the ages 18-54, and more than 75% owning their own home.

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“Magnite’s ability to deliver seamless ad experiences, combined with the expertise of its teams, has already added meaningful value to our bottom line, and is helping us maximize our platform’s capabilities,” Steve Sklar, head of advertising sales for Frndly TV, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Frndly TV inked a distribution deal with A&E Networks, which included A&E, the History channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, FYI, Military History and ViceTV, and begin streaming Nov. 18.

A&E Networks Inks Distribution Deal With Frndly TV

A&E Networks Nov. 10 announced a content distribution deal with Frndly TV, a low-cost online TV streaming platform that charges subscribers less than $10 monthly. Included in the deal: A&E, the History channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, FYI, Military History and ViceTV, which begin streaming on Nov. 18.

The announcement was made by Michael McKenna, chief programming officer of Frndly TV, and David Zagin, president of distribution for A+E Networks.

“The addition of the seven A+E Networks’ channels is a seminal event in Frndly TV’s growth,” McKenna said in a statement. “We are now able to add outstanding quality to our programming lineup with some of the most desired and loved channels in all TV.”

Frndly TV subscribers will be able to watch the whole range of A+E Networks’ original programming including A&E’s “The First 48,” “Storage Wars,” “City Confidential” and “Court Cam”; and the History channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island,” “Pawn Stars,” “Forged in Fire” and “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman.” At Lifetime series include “Married at First Sight,” premiering in 2022, along with “Leave it to Geege,” and “My Killer Body with K. Michelle.”

Online TV Platform Philo Cites ‘Yellowstone’ Season Four Premiere for Subscriber Surge

Online budget TV platform Philo Nov. 9 disclosed that the season four debut of “Yellowstone” on Nov. 7 contributed to a huge day for single-day subscriber sign-ups.

According to media reports, the “Yellowstone” debut, featuring Kevin Costner headlining an ensemble cast, was watched by 8.38 million viewers — the second-largest audience behind the season premiere of “NCIS,” with 8.45 million viewers. The first episode also drew the biggest same-day audience for any cable scripted since an episode of “The Walking Dead” in 2017.

Not surprisingly, Philo said “Yellowstone” was the most-popular show streamed in Montana, including the cities Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Helena and Great Falls; Casper and Cheyenne in Wyoming; and Idaho Falls (Jackson) and Twin Falls in Idaho.

The show also did well mid-sized cities, including Denver, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Portland, Ore., and Tulsa, Okla., in addition to Abilene, Amarillo, Boise, Idaho, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, IA; Evansville, Laredo, Lexington, Louisville, Colo.; Lubbock, Tex.; Topeka and Wichita, Kan.

Philo said Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” and “The Oval” also generated significant viewership, however, the majority of those respondents watched the show later, via DVR and on-demand.

The $25 monthly service eschews all regional sports networks and major broadcast channels in an effort to reduce cost. Primary channels include AMC Networks, A&E, MTV, BET, Discovery, VH1, Food Network, History, Nickelodeon, OWN, TLC, Lifetime, Hallmark, Paramount, TV One, in addition to premium channel add-ons Starz and Epix — available for $9 and $6 monthly, respectively.

Philo ended the most-recent fiscal period with 800,000 subscribers — well behind online TV market leaders Hulu + Live TV (4 million), YouTube TV (2 million) and Sling TV (2.4 million).

Fox Nation SVOD Joining YouTube TV as Add-On Service

Fox News Media Oct. 26 announced that the subscription streaming service Fox Nation is launching on YouTube TV as an optional $5.99 monthly add-on starting today.

Launched in 2018, the platform includes original series (“Tucker Carlson Today,” “Tucker Carlson Originals,” “COPS,” “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” “Crime Stories With Nancy Grace” and “What Made America Great with Brian Kilmeade”), curated programming events featuring original and acquired content (“Grateful Nation,” “Keep The Faith,” “Clint Eastwood: American Outlaw,” “Fox Justice,” “All American Christmas”), and coverage of live events, such as the Conservative Political Action Committee conference.

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YouTube TV ended 2020 with a reported two million subscribers paying $64.99 monthly for the online TV platform.

Additionally, YouTube TV subs to Fox Nation will have access to the streamer’s signature opinion programming such as “The Dan Bongino Show,” as well as Fox News Channel’s primetime shows — on-demand the next day — with Fox News Primetime All the Time.

 “We’re thrilled to partner with YouTube TV to bring Fox Nation to their platform and provide our [subscribers] with more ways to [access] the original content,” Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, said in a statement.

Fox Nation is also available on Cox Contour, Comcast Xfinity and The Roku Channel, as well as FoxNation.com and the Fox Nation app for all major mobile and connected TV platforms.