Pluto TV Streaming Classic CBS Series for Winter Holidays

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, ViacomCBS-owned ad-supported VOD service Pluto TV will begin streaming classic CBS television series as branded channels. They include: “Happy Days,” “Family Ties,” “The Love Boat,” “Wings,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Laverne & Shirley,” and “Mork & Mindy”.

All of Pluto TV’s new channels will stream for free beginning Nov. 24. Channel line-ups include:

“Happy Days”: Features three classic sitcoms created by the late Garry Marshall. “Happy Days” (11 seasons), “Laverne & Shirley” (8 seasons), and “Mork & Mindy” (4 seasons).

“Wings”: Showcases Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church, and Tony Shaloub in eight seasons of the sitcom from the creators of “Cheers”.

“Family Ties”: The Emmy-winning seven-season sitcom launched Michael J. Fox, and also stars Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Justine Bateman, and Tina Yothers.

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“The Love Boat”: Finds the crew of the S.S. Pacific Princess and their all-star passengers 24 hours a day for 9 seasons.

“Beverly Hillbillies”: The original fish-out-of-water sitcom showcasing characters Jed, Granny, Jethro, and Elly May over 9 seasons.

“Mission: Impossible”: The original 1960s spy thriller series starring Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, and Leonard Nimoy, among others, over seven seasons.

Separately, Pluto TV is making a donation to World Central Kitchen to support of ongoing efforts to use the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies during times of crisis and beyond.

Throughout the holiday season, to drive even greater awareness to this noteworthy cause and amplify the efforts for World Central Kitchen, Pluto TV’s social media will feature curated holiday recipes inspired these shows and favorite recipes from beloved stars of the series.

Pluto TV has a global audience of over 36 million monthly active users, with over 28.4 million in the U.S. Pluto TV has an international footprint that spans across three continents and 25 countries throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Headed for Pluto TV

Shout! Factory TV on Sept. 1 announced the launch of “The Carol Burnett Show” channel on Pluto TV, a free ad-supported television streaming service.

The 24/7 linear channel presents episodes from all 11 seasons and can be viewed on Channel 516 in Pluto TV’s newly-launched Classic TV section, available on all leading digital streaming devices and services, as well as major smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Additionally, fans looking to stream content on demand can stream episodes on Pluto TV and Shout! Factory TV.

Many of the episodes included in the linear streaming release have been rarely seen since the show’s original broadcast more than 40 years ago. The comedy legend worked with Shout! Factory to find the long-lost masters of these episodes for their on-demand streaming debut on Shout! Factory TV.

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Content ranges from season one’s first “Carol & Sis” sketches, with a teenage Vicki Lawrence playing a character based on Carol Burnett’s real-life sister, and “As The Stomach Turns,” a soap opera parody which ran for all 11 seasons, to the evolution of Tim Conway’s “Oldest Man” character, which he introduced in Season two and performed nearly 20 times over the course of the series.

“I am so thrilled about the launch of the new ‘Carol Burnett Show’ channel on Pluto TV,” said Carol Burnett in a press release. “When the show started in the 1960s, there were only three or four channels to watch and now there are hundreds on Pluto TV alone. I can’t wait for new fans to discover the show and see how the comedy holds up today.”

Pluto TV Adds News, Entertainment Channels

Viacom-owned AVOD service Pluto TV and CBS Interactive announced three additional channels launched Nov. 13 on the free streaming service.

Pluto TV viewers now have access to live news, updates, analysis and reporting from the entertainment news brand ET Live and live local news streams from CBSN New York and CBSN Los Angeles.

The new additions join existing CBS Interactive properties and longstanding Pluto TV media partners CBSN and CNET.

“CBS Interactive has long been an integral partner for Pluto TV. We are excited to continue to grow this relationship and extend new value to the Pluto TV audience together,” Jeff Shultz, EVP and chief business officer, Pluto TV, said in a statement.

“In addition to our previously launched CBSN and CNET channels on Pluto TV, we’re thrilled to be bringing more of our ad-supported streaming channels to the platform with today’s launch of our entertainment news channel, ET Live, and CBSN’s local news channels for New York and Los Angeles,” Sarah Jeon, EVP of business development, CBS Interactive, said in a statement.

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ET Live (channel 120) is a 24-hour streaming network dedicated to all things entertainment, tapping into the legacy of “Entertainment Tonight’s” brand.

CBSN New York (channel 237) was the first of CBS’s local direct-to-consumer streaming news services in major markets across the country. CBSN New York features live streams of WCBS and WLNY’s regularly scheduled newscasts and additional weekday one-hour newscasts at 7 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, CBSN New York provides live continuous coverage of breaking news events with programming led by WCBS and WLNY anchors and reporters as well as an extensive library of local news content that will be available for on-demand viewing.

CBSN Los Angeles (channel 238) features 24-hour anchored programming, coverage of live breaking news events in the region as well as an extensive library of local news content that will be available for on-demand viewing. CBSN Los Angeles’ daily lineup includes live streams of KCBS (CBS 2) and KCAL (KCAL 9), regularly scheduled newscasts and additional weekday one-hour newscasts at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. CBSN Los Angeles programming is led by CBS 2 and KCAL 9 anchors and reporters.

The new programming and channel collaboration with CBS Interactive joins Pluto TV’s more than 200 live, linear, curated channels and thousands of movies on demand from major studios, networks, publishers and digital media companies.

Roku CEO: We Are the No. 1 Smart TV Operating System in the U.S.

Roku said 33% of all Internet-connected “smart” televisions sold domestically in the first quarter (ended March 31) featured its branded operating system. That’s up from 25% of all TVs sold in 2018.

“In less than five years, the Roku TV has gone from a disruptive idea to the market leader,” founder/CEO Anthony Wood said on the fiscal call. “We have taken the leads from Samsung and are now the number one smart TV OS in the country.”

Anthony Wood

Wood attributed Roku’s transition from streaming media device manufacturer to ad-supported VOD distributor to ongoing consumer moves away from linear TV toward over-the-top video — and the CE industry’s sluggish efforts to develop “homegrown” software OS platforms in televisions.

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“We really think in almost all cases those [OS] solutions are probably uncompetitive and that we will just continue to see gains and share of licensed OS [platforms],” Wood said. “So there is a lot of room to grow. It’s a big opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Roku continues to drive an expanding AVOD market through its branded Roku channel. The AVOD market gained momentum following Viacom’s acquisition of Pluto TV, Comcast’s planned launch of AVOD distribution, Shout! Factory’s Shout TV, Sony Crackle and San Francisco-based Tubi, among others.

“We are excited about the increased investment and focus by major media companies on bringing free content over-the-top,” said Scott Rosenberg, GM, platform business. “When they do this, they ultimately accelerate the consumer move into OTT and expand the economic pie for all of us. We share in their success.”

Indeed, Roku said user accounts increased 40% to 29.1 million from 20.8 million last year. Consumer streaming hours increased 74% to 8.9 billion hours compared to 5.1 billion hours in the previous-year period.

“The most exciting thing about the Viacom/Pluto tie-up is the fact that Viacom is taking content that was previously only available through pay-TV subscriptions and making it available free through AVOD services,” he said. “That not only will that drive viewing on the platform, I think it will also help accelerate the shift of ad dollars over to streaming.”

Research: OTT Revenue Forecast to Reach $22 Billion in 2019

Based on 66 OTT providers, led by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, U.S. OTT access revenue grew 37% to $16.3 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach $22 billion in 2019, according to a new research from Convergence Research.

The research firm has released two new reports, “The Battle for the American Couch Potato: OTT and TV” and “The Battle for the American Couch Potato: Bundling, TV, Internet, Telephone, Wireless.”

Still, U.S. TV subscriber average revenue per user (ARPU) is still forecast to be three times U.S. OTT subscriber household ARPU in 2021.

The firm estimates 2018 U.S. cable, satellite, telco TV access (not including OTT) revenue declined 3% to $103.4 billion in 2018 and forecasts 2019 will see a similar decline. Also, 2018 saw a decline of 4.01 million U.S. TV subscribers and 2017 a decline of 3.66 million, according to the firm, which forecasts a decline of 4.56 million TV subs for 2019. The U.S. TV subscriber
base will decline 5% in 2019, from a decline of 4% in 2018, according to the firm’s estimates.

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By the end of 2018, the firm estimates 30% of households did not have a traditional TV subscription with a cable, satellite, or telco TV access provider, up from 26% at the end of 2017. The firm forecasts that number to reach 34% of households by the end of 2019. Convergence Research estimates 2018 saw almost 5 million cord cutter/never household additions.

The firm projects that a number of OTT plays, including large and niche, will fail due to insufficient subscriber traction, cost and competition, noting major programmers continue to accelerate their direct-to-consumer drive, including Disney and WarnerMedia. Other developments noted by the firm include:

  • Hulu spends more on content per sub than either Amazon or Netflix and continues to discount (notably with Spotify);
  • CBS/Showtime’s OTT subscriber trajectory has been faster than expected;
  • Discovery has backed and supplied Philo, gone live with Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV, and will be launching an OTT service with the BBC;
  • NBC Universal will be launching an OTT service in 2020;
  • and Viacom has backed and supplied Philo and others, acquired Pluto and Awesomeness TV and is producing for Amazon and Netflix.