Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
If you have been waiting for Netflix ratings...
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022.
WHAT NETFLIX SUBSCRIBERS WERE WATCHING IN THE UK LAST NIGHT
The first daily Netflix viewing data has been released in the UK as part of Netflix's agreement with the Barb audience measurement systems. According to the ratings data service Overnights.TV, the most-watched Netflix series in the UK last night was The Watcher, with a cumulative audience of 564,000 across its seven episodes, averaging 81,000 viewers per episode.
A BIT MORE ABOUT THAT PEACOCK/HALLMARK DEAL
The new Hallmark hub launched on Peacock today and I now have a bit more context and info on the deal. Which makes it slightly less expansive than the original reporting, but still important.
The most important part of the deal is the three live linear channels. That's a first for Peacock and it feels like the first step towards building out a more impressive channels offering.
As it turns out, while it's true that new titles which air on the three main Hallmark channels will be available on Peacock for on-demand viewing, they will only be available for 72 hours before expiring. Although obviously viewers could watch them live if they are repeated on one of the linear channels.
The on-demand library is also fairly modest. Less than 100 titles overall, with a big emphasis on Christmas movies from the past decade. There are a few scattered original films from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and three seasons of the long-running drama When Calls The Heart. But nothing from Chesapeake Shore or other Hallmark originals series. It's worth nothing that Hallmark had already licensed all seven seasons of its series Good Witch in the U.S. to Netflix on a non-exclusive basis.
As a comparison, the Hallmark Media SVOD Hallmark Movies Now includes about 600 titles, including the entire series runs of Chesapeake Shores, When Calls The Heart, Cedar Cove and When Hope Calls. But it doesn't offer the live Hallmark channels. So this Peacock deal with Hallmark is more about the live channels than anything else.
ADULT SWIM CANCELS TUCA & BERTIE
PARAMOUNT EYES 'MEANINGFUL AND SIZEABLE' COST CUTS
CFO Naveen Chopra and CEO Bob Bakish, speaking during a conference call with analysts after the company posted weaker-than-expected financial results for the third quarter, said the company is planning for "meaningful and sizeable" cost cuts in the coming months as it looks to balance streaming investments with declining pay-TV operations:
Bakish said Paramount is contending with “a complex environment and economic period.” In response, he said, the company is “taking aggressive, precise actions to gain additional efficiency across our cable networks, streaming platforms, advertising sales, marketing and global operations. These will yield cost savings next year, as well as long-term strategic benefits. We’re taking advantage of the current market to accelerate these efforts.”
It's clear that one of the primary places to cut costs will come from the likely folding of Showtime into Paramount+, although it's really not clear how that will work. Especially when it comes to current Showtime deals with cable operators.
Paramount has already made substantial cuts across its cable TV business, all by giving up on scripted programming entirely on many of its networks. Marketing, PR and other administrative and creative staffs have also shrunk in recent years. So it will be interesting to see what the "meaningful and sizeable" cost cuts might come from. It's possible CBS might cur back on original content spending, even pulling back from the 10:00 pm hour on some nights.
I've also spoken to several people who told me there has been some initial discussions about how to better integrate Paramount digital properties including SVOD's like BET+ and Noggin into the Paramount+ platform. Although no one I spoke with had any clear sense of what that would look like.
TWEET OF THE DAY
AND SPEAKING OF INCOMPRENSIBLE STREAMING STRATEGIES
While you have likely never heard of it, Comcast owns a FAST platform called Xumo. Comcast acquired Xumo in 2020 from Viant Technologies, which was once also the owner of MySpace. Xumo was the originally created by Viant in a partnership with Panasonic, which rolled the service out on its line of Smart TVs. But Xumo never quite gelled as a business plan and when Comcast bought the service, the presumption in the industry was that the media company was going to build out its on-demand content offerings in much the same way. Instead, it's limped along with a mix of live channels you can find on a dozen other services and a line-up of on-demand programming that is shockingly sparse for an AVOD owned by a company that also owns a legacy movie studio.
In April, Comcast announced it was contributing Xumo as part of a 50/50 partnership with Charter to roll out a nationwide "next generation streaming partnership." And while its still not clear what that phrase means in this context, today Comcast and Charter made some announcements that feel more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that it does building a next-generation anything:
Charter Communications, Inc. and Comcast Corporation today announced their streaming platform joint venture will now operate and conduct business as Xumo, evolving the brand from a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service to an entire entertainment ecosystem inclusive of streaming devices, content, and a platform for partners to reach audiences at scale.
Along with the naming of the joint venture, Charter and Comcast also announced that Flex, the 4K streaming device Comcast licensed to the joint venture will become Xumo Stream Box and XClass TV will become Xumo TV. Both devices will remain powered by Comcast’s global technology platform and feature an entertainment experience designed to make it easy for consumers to find and enjoy their favorite streaming content through a world-class user interface and voice search. Xumo will go-to-market with its first branded devices in late 2023, distributed by Comcast, Charter and Walmart, with additional distributors to be announced in the future.
Xumo’s FAST service, which consists of hundreds of linear channels and on demand options from a growing collection of networks and content creators, will be rebranded Xumo Play. Xumo Play will anchor the free content offering on Xumo devices and continue to be available as an app on other streaming platforms.
So there'll be some Xumo-branded devices and a branded FAST service with middling content and some sort of voice search function? Maybe they will roll out something amazing next year. But so far it doesn't sound promising.
WHAT'S NEW FOR WEDNESDAY:
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Donna Kay Christmas (Disney+)
Hudson River Wild (Smithsonian)
Killer Sally (Netflix)
The Final Score (Netflix)
The Independent Series Premiere (Peacock)
Upcycle Nation Series Premiere (Fuse)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU THURSDAY!
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