Rotten Tomatoes OTT Channel Launching on Samsung TV Plus

Rotten Tomatoes is launching its over-the-top (OTT) channel on Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free ad-supported video service.

The Rotten Tomatoes Channel features 24/7 linear programming, more than a dozen originally produced shows and nearly 200 hours of premium long and short-form video content on entertainment.

Debuting on the channel are four new shows: “Behind the Movie,” “Trailer Trivia,” “Year in Review” and “Binge Battle.” “Behind the Movie” delivers scene breakdowns, deep-dive interviews and behind-the-scenes tales from the biggest names in Hollywood. “Trailer Trivia” revisits the trailers that got fans pumped for some of the biggest movies of all time and dishes on trivia and Easter Eggs from those films. “Year in Review” relives Hollywood’s biggest hits, misses and forgotten gems. Each episode focuses on a single year of movies and TV, showcased through trailers, clips, interviews and more. In “Binge Battle,” comedian and host Mark Ellis pits two teams against each other to debate some of the biggest questions surrounding the most bingeable TV series and movie franchises ever made. Debating topics such as “Best Character,” “Best Episode” and “Most Surprising Twist,” contestants are judged by the viewers before Mark crowns a “Binge Battle” champ.

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“The expansion of The Rotten Tomatoes Channel to Samsung devices is an important step to reaching as many entertainment fans as possible and connecting them to movies, TV and streaming they’ll love,” Sandro Corsaro, Rotten Tomatoes SVP and chief creative officer, said in a statement. “We’re excited to be working with Samsung and serving their loyal customers with high-quality entertainment recommendations and tools that only Rotten Tomatoes can deliver.”

The launch of The Rotten Tomatoes Channel on Samsung TV Plus comes on the heels of its debut earlier this year on The Roku Channel, Peacock, Xumo TV and other vMPDs (virtual multichannel programming distributors). Most recently, clips from The Rotten Tomatoes Channel started airing on Reach TV, a live streaming network available on more than 2,500 screens in airport bars, restaurants, lounges, departure gates and concourses across the United States and Canada.

Samsung TV Plus Adds Impact Wrestling

Professional wrestling organization Impact Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, has inked an agreement with Samsung TV Plus, giving viewers access to its library of wrestling content through both a dedicated Impact Wrestling Channel and on VOD.

Samsung TV Plus is a free ad-supported streaming (FAST) service, offering viewers instant access to more than 160 channels. Samsung TV Plus comes pre-installed on 2016-21 Samsung Smart TVs and is available on select Samsung Galaxy devices. Impact’s dedicated channel is on channel 1,164 on Samsung TV Plus.

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“This new partnership presents an invaluable opportunity for us to bring Impact Wrestling’s exclusive premium content to even more viewers across the country,” Jaime Pollack, Anthem’s chief revenue officer for its sports media group, said in a statement. “We are excited to share our deep, generation-spanning library with Samsung TV Plus’ audience — giving wrestling fans both old and new a chance to enjoy all of the larger-than-life personas, legendary matches, and gripping story-telling that Impact Wrestling is known for.”

Impact Wrestling includes almost two decades of new and classic original content, with classic stars, including Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and AJ Styles, as well as a current roster of athletes, including Rich Swann, The Good Brothers, former NFL player Moose, Deonna Purrazzo, Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards, Jordynne Grace, Eric Young and Chris Bey.

Impact programming is televised globally in 120 countries including AXS TV in the United States.

PBS Kids Channel Available on Samsung TV Plus

The PBS Kids channel has been added to Samsung TV Plus and is available for free on tens of millions of Samsung smart TVs across the country.

It joins eight other free kids’ channels on Samsung TV Plus.

PBS Kids includes such shows as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Wild Kratts” and “Odd Squad.”

Other family friendly channels on Samsung TV Plus include The Lego Channel, Moonbug Kids and KiDoodle.TV. The Samsung TV Plus platform includes more than 160 free channels of movies, news, sports and more.

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Roku Dominates ‘March Madness’ Streaming

With the 2021 NCAA College Basketball National Championship Tournament, a.k.a. March Madness, readying for the Sweet 16 elimination rounds, sports fans are increasingly streaming games via standalone media devices and connected televisions. The opening round set new records with more than a billion minutes streamed across 32 games in just two days, according to new data from Conviva.

The tournament thus far reveals an ongoing trend streaming games on the big TV screen. Historically the first day of round one sees the most viewership. This held true this year as day one netted 15% more time spent streaming than day two, according to the report.

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Streaming on television increased significantly in the first two rounds to 68% share of time spent in round one, from 48% in 2019 and just 41% in the opening days of 2018. While streaming games on the PC lost market share, the increase in TV consumption comes primarily at the expense of mobile viewing, which decreased to less than half the share held during the previous March Madness. The report attributed this to the pandemic-trend of in-home viewing and the overall, multiyear trend of increased streaming via televisions.

More than 40% of the tournament thus far has been streamed on TVs through Roku devices, followed by Amazon Fire TV (26%), Samsung TV (10%), and Apple TV with 8% share. LG TV and Xbox each tallied 4% share, with Chromecast picking up 3%. Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio, Android TV, and PlayStation lagged behind the field with under 2% share of viewing time.

Conviva reported that social media engagements per post rose an average of 164% for teams in round one as compared to the regular season. Teams tallied 3 million total cross-platform engagements over just two days in the first round of the tournament, with Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Illinois taking the top three spots for total cross-platform engagements.

March Madness often vaults unexpected teams into national view. This year it’s Oral Roberts with 15 times the number of social media engagements per post versus the regular season, and leading in cross-platform, Twitter, and Instagram engagement rates.

Movies Anywhere Launches on Samsung Smart TVs, Bows ‘Deal of the Day’ Feature

The Movies Anywhere personal digital library service app is now available on Samsung smart TVs, and the service has also launched a “Deal of the Day” feature.

By expanding to Samsung for its 2017-21 smart TVs, the Movies Anywhere app can now be found on a majority of big-screen devices in the United States, according to the service.

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Consumers can download the free Movies Anywhere app from the Samsung smart TV app store.

Movies Anywhere brings together more than 8,000 movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Twentieth Century Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The service syncs purchased movie libraries from multiple digital retailers across devices and platforms.

With the addition of the Samsung platform, the Movies Anywhere app is now available on the largest network of smart TVs in the United States, according to the service.

Movies Anywhere has also launched a “Deal of the Day” widget. After automatically crawling all current eligible deals, the widget curates and displays personalized deal recommendations based on users’ watch history and movies in their digital locker. “Deal of the Day” is available now for iOS 14 users who have installed Movies Anywhere’s 1.42.0 build. After installing this update and opening the Movies Anywhere app, the “Deal of the Day” widget will appear in the widget gallery and can be added directly to the Movies Anywhere app’s home screen.

 

TikTok App Launching on Samsung Smart TVs

TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media video app, is coming to connected televisions for the first time. In a Dec. 14 announcement, TikTok said its app would be embedded in Samsung Smart TVs in the U.K., with further rollout across Europe planned in 2021. The deal does not include the U.S. for now. About 100 million Americans use the TikTok app on a monthly basis.

“The past year has dramatically changed the way we live, work and play,” Rich Waterworth, GM of the U.K. amd E.U. at TikTok, said in a statement. “More of us are spending time at home watching TV. This has led us to think about how we can bring the creativity and joy of TikTok to even more people across the U.K.”

Waterworth, a former executive at YouTube and ITV, said the app would not require registering an TikTok account. Viewers will have access to 12 content categories, including a portfolio of original content, including recipe hacks, comedy skits, and video challenges.

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The app will be available on all Samsung Smart TV models from 2018, which include 4K UHD and 8K TVs as well as Smart Monitor, The Premiere, The Frame and The Serif.