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Comcast Internet-Only Customers Can Now Get XFINITY Flex Streaming Box for Free

Comcast internet-only customers that used to pay $5 a month for an X1-powered streaming video box with an X1 voice remote will now get their first box for free.

The XFINITY Flex Streaming Box, capable of streaming 4K video from Comcast’s own streaming video platform and supported streaming apps from services like Amazon Prime Video, Epix, Hulu, HBO, and Netflix, is Comcast’s solution for cord-cutters that might be thinking about switching internet providers or could be lured back to an inexpensive video package if the price is right.

The platform should be familiar to former Comcast video customers that used to use Comcast’s X1 set-top box, and includes access to Comcast’s large TV Everywhere on-demand content library, which includes over 10,000 free, advertiser-supported movies and TV series.

In fact, the only services not available on the platform are Comcast’s live TV streaming competitors like AT&T TV Now, YouTube TV, and similar services.

The first box is now bundled with internet-only service, with each additional box priced at $5/month.

XFINITY Flex is now bundled with Comcast’s internet-only service, with the first box available for free. (0:37)

Comcast NBC to Launch “Peacock” Streaming Service Next April; Free to Comcast Cable TV Subscribers

Phillip Dampier September 17, 2019 Comcast/Xfinity, Competition, Consumer News, Online Video, Peacock No Comments

Comcast is planning to debut its new streaming TV platform under the NBC “Peacock” brand next April with a lineup of original shows starring well-known talent including Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, Christian Slater, and Ed Helms.

Peacock will most closely resemble the advertiser-supported Hulu platform, with 21 million Comcast cable television customers getting access for free. Comcast is reportedly also negotiating with other cable, satellite, and telco TV providers about bundling free basic Peacock subscriptions for their cable TV customers as well. Those who never subscribed to cable TV or cut the cord will be offered the option of a lower cost, commercial-filled subscription or a more expensive ad-free option, presumably at prices similar to what Hulu charges ($5.99-11.99).

Peacock’s subscription model is designed to protect Comcast’s cable TV revenue. For existing Comcast cable TV customers, giving ad-supported subscriptions away for free may add to the value proposition of keeping a cable TV subscription. By charging subscription fees to everyone else, Comcast is not ‘giving away the store for free.’ If it did, it could upset other pay television companies that are facing ever-rising retransmission consent fees and programming costs for Comcast/NBC-owned TV stations and cable networks including CNBC, MSNBC, and the USA Network.

Comcast is confident its long experience offering streaming TV Everywhere services including live streaming and on demand programming will mean it will not face the kinds of scaling mistakes other streaming services have had. Bonnie Hammer, the NBCUniversal executive appointed to run Peacock, believes the service’s deep content catalog, starting with 15,000 hours of NBC and Universal Studios TV shows and movies complimented with other acquired and original productions will give viewers plenty to watch.

“I’m not sure anybody else out there can do what we can do,” Hammer told the Wall Street Journal. “We expect to have great content and a great product [that] is really easy to use.”

In addition to scripted content, Peacock will also feature live and recorded news and sports programming from NBC.

Among the shows featured on the Peacock platform:

Original Drama Series

ANGELYNE (limited series)
Limited series based on The Hollywood Reporter feature that explored the identity of L.A.’s mysterious billboard bombshell.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Battlestar Galactica reboot.

BRAVE NEW WORLD
Based on Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, Brave New World. The series envisions life in a utopian society that bans monogamy, privacy, money, and never discusses history.

DR. DEATH
Inspired by a podcast by the same name. Dr. Death follows the true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (played by Jamie Dornan), a rising star in the Dallas medical community who also emerges as a deadly sociopath. Duntsch’s successful neurosurgery practice gradually deteriorates into a horror show of permanently disabled or dead patients. Two fellow doctors, played by Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater, fight an entrenched medical bureaucracy designed to protect money-making doctors to get his practice shut down.

ONE OF US IS LYING (pilot)
Based on the novel One of Us Is Lying, the crime series follows the unfolding of events after five people spend an afternoon in detention, but only four leave alive.

UNTITLED REAL HOUSEWIVES SPINOFF (no details provided)

Original Comedy Series

A.P. BIO (Season 3)
Picks up where the original NBC TV series left off. When disgraced Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) loses out on his dream job to his rival Miles Leonard (Tom Bennett), he is forced to return to the small town Toledo, Ohio and work as an advanced placement biology teacher at the fictional Whitlock High School. Jack makes it clear to his class that he will not be teaching any biology. Realising he has a room full of honor-roll students at his disposal, Jack decides to use them for his own benefit: getting revenge on Miles. Eager to prove that he is still king of the castle, Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt) struggles to keep Griffin under control.

PUNKY BREWSTER (pilot)
This continues of the iconic 80s sitcom about a bright young girl raised by a foster dad features Punky as a now single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self.

RUTHERFORD FALLS
A small town in upstate New York is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) fights the moving of a historical statue.

SAVED BY THE BELL (reboot)
When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a reality check.

STRAIGHT TALK
Straight Talk examines what happens when two opposing ideologies are forced into an odd coupling. The main characters will be challenged by one another, making the moral lines at which they once stood harder to define.

Original Unscripted Shows 

THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW
A weekly show featuring Amber’s “signature smart-and-silly take on the week.” The show will de-emphasize talking with guests and spend more time on comedy routines.

WHO WROTE THAT
A docuseries designed to showcase Saturday Night Live’s comedy writers.

Original Made-for-Peacock TV Movie

PSYCH 2: LASSIE COME HOME
Based on the USA Network show Psych, Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter is ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Shawn and Gus return to Lassie’s side in Santa Barbara and are forced to navigate the personal, the professional, and possibly the supernatural. Separated from their new lives in San Francisco, our heroes find themselves unwelcome in their old stomping grounds as they secretly untangle a twisted case without the benefit of the police, their loved ones, or the quality sourdough bakeries of the Bay Area. What they uncover will change the course of their relationships forever.

Legacy Shows in the Peacock Catalog

Bates Motel
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Cheers
Chrisley Knows Best
Covert Affairs
Downton Abbey
Everybody Loves Raymond
Frasier
Friday Night Lights
House
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
The King of Queens
Married … with Children
Monk
Parks and Recreation (exclusive, available Oct. 2020)
Parenthood
The Office (exclusive, available Jan. 2021)
Psych
The Real Housewives
Royal Pains
Saturday Night Live
Superstore
30 Rock
Top Chef
Will & Grace
100 Dias Para Volver (Spanish-language)
Betty in NY (Spanish-language)
El Barón (Spanish-language)
Preso No. 1 (Spanish-language)

Peacock’s Legacy Movies Catalog

American Pie
Back to the Future
A Beautiful Mind
Bourne franchise
The Breakfast Club
Bridesmaids
Brokeback Mountain
Casino
Dallas Buyers Club
Despicable Me franchise
Do the Right Thing
Erin Brockovich
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Fast & Furious
Field of Dreams
Jaws
Knocked Up
Mamma Mia!
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Shrek

AT&T Customers Brace for Big Disney Blackout — ABC Stations, ESPN, Disney Channel All At Risk

Phillip Dampier September 10, 2019 AT&T, Competition, Consumer News, DirecTV Now, Online Video 2 Comments

The Walt Disney Co., is warning AT&T U-verse, TV Now, and DirecTV customers that a blackout of Disney-owned ABC stations, ESPN, Freeform, and the Disney Channel is imminent because AT&T has not yet agreed on renewal terms.

If an agreement is not signed before the end of the month, AT&T video customers across the country are looking at a third major programming blackout this year.

“The Disney owned networks and stations have agreements in place with all of the major video providers in DirecTV and AT&T video territories, including Comcast, Verizon FiOS, Cox, Optimum, Frontier and others, and we have a strong track record of successfully reaching multi-year agreements with these and other TV providers,” the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately, so far AT&T has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us, despite the fact that the terms we are seeking are in line with recent marketplace deals we have reached with other distributors.”

The last contract renewal DirecTV signed with Disney was in late 2014. It is likely AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV allowed the company to combine its U-verse and streaming agreements with the much larger contract with the satellite TV company, with AT&T’s combined carriage agreement likely to expire on Sept. 30, 2019.

AT&T has spent much of 2019 playing hardball with programmers, willing to let their contracts expire and blackout affected stations and networks. Earlier this year, customers lost access to local TV stations owned by CBS, Nexstar, and a handful of local stations under contract with Sinclair Broadcasting. Customers also lost access to the Altitude Sports and Entertainment Network, a regional sports channel, at the end of August. In some cases, it took several weeks to reach a negotiated settlement with local station owners.

It seems likely Walt Disney will find a similar level of intransigence with AT&T’s negotiating team. AT&T is already preparing its customers for a potential protracted fight and blackout.

“We’re disappointed to see The Walt Disney Co. put their viewers into the middle of negotiations. We are on the side of consumer choice and value and want to keep Disney channels and owned-and-operated local ABC stations in eight cities in our customers’ lineups,” AT&T said in a statement. “We hope to avoid any interruption to the services some of our customers care about. Our goal is always to deliver the content our customers want at a value that also makes sense to them. We’ll continue to fight for that here and appreciate their patience while we work this matter out.”

Any blackout would impact Disney-owned and operated ABC affiliates, including:

  • WABC-TV 7 New York
  • KABC-TV 7 Los Angeles
  • WTVD-TV 11 Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  • KGO-TV 7 San Francisco
  • KTRK-TV 13 Houston
  • KFSN-TV 30 Fresno, Calif.
  • WLS-TV 7 Chicago
  • WPVI-TV 6 Philadelphia

New Family Friendly Streaming Option: $5.99 for 12 Channels Including Hallmark Networks

Phillip Dampier August 29, 2019 Competition, Consumer News, Frndly TV, Online Video 1 Comment

Those looking for a bare bones basic streaming package of family-friendly TV channels may be happy to learn of Frndly TV, a new streaming service offering a dozen networks for as low as $5.99 a month.

Frndly TV offers 12 networks and their corresponding on demand shows available on their respective websites and is viewable on Roku, Roku TVs, Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, or on a mobile device or computer through most major web browsers as well as iOS or Android apps.

Frndly TV includes: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, Game Show Network, PixL, Light TV, Baby First, QVC, The Weather Channel, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and World Fishing Network

Pricing varies depending on what kind of recording capability and number of simultaneous streams you want. The basic plan costs $5.99/mo or $59.99 a year and includes SD-only streaming and a Look Back feature that allows on demand viewing of shows up to 72 hours after airing. If you also want DVR service and 720p HD resolution, Classic package pricing starts at $7.99/mo or $79.99 a year for unlimited storage and 30 day recording availability. For $9.99/mo or $99.99 a year, the Premium plan increases DVR storage time to 90 days and offers up to four concurrent streams.

A 7-day free trial is available through their website.

Grab 3 Years of Disney+ for $140.97 With This Limited Time Offer

Phillip Dampier August 29, 2019 Consumer News, Disney+, Online Video 1 Comment

Planning on signing up for Disney+ when it launches on November 12th? Here is a special offer to score three years of the streaming service for $140.97 (plus tax, where applicable), a 33% discount off the usual annual price. You need to act on this today, however, because the deal expires September 2, 2019.

Step One:

You must first join D23 – the Official Disney Fan Club. You can enroll as a D23 Standard Member for free.

Step Two:

After enrolling, allow 24-36 hours for the special offer to appear on your account. Because the offer will expire on Monday, the sooner you enroll, the better. On the day after enrolling, check D23’s Account Management page for the special offer which looks like this:

Click Redeem Now, which should bring you to an offer page that includes this:

Enter your email address and other requested contact and payment information to sign up.

There are some important considerations to be aware of:

  1. Service begins on Nov. 12, 2019.
  2. Disney+ will support up to four concurrent streams per account. This number can change at Disney’s discretion.
  3. If you download content for offline viewing, Disney+ will limit each account to a maximum of 10 registered devices. It is not yet known if Disney+ will allow you to deregister an existing device to open up an additional slot for a new device. Each registered device must connect to the internet at least once a month or the content will no longer be available for offline viewing. This device limitation only applies to downloaded, not streamed content.
  4. This offer will NOT bundle with Hulu or ESPN+. It is for Disney+ service only.

Other terms and conditions:

Valid only from August 26, 2019 through September 2, 2019 at 11:59 PM PT. Promotional offer available to all D23 General, Gold or Gold Family Members who have an active membership as of 11:59PM PT on September 1, 2019.  Valid for US residents with US payment method only.  Acceptance of this promotional offer, or use of the promotional offer code, constitutes acceptance of the following terms and conditions.  This promotional offer of $46.99 per year, if accepted, entitles the bearer to a one-time discount of $69.00 off the regular price of a three-year subscription to Disney+ ($209.97).  Subscription will automatically renew on an annual basis at the end of three years, at the annual subscription price (currently $69.99) unless cancelled.  Taxes added to price, where applicable.  Cancel anytime, subject to terms.  No refunds or credits for partial months or years.  Access to Disney+ will continue through the end of the current subscription term. To accept this offer, create an account, accept the Subscriber Agreement, and elect to purchase a three-year subscription. Promotional offer code is one-time use only.  Cannot be combined with any other offers, coupons, discounts or promotions.  Cannot be applied to an existing subscription to Disney+.  Not redeemable for cash or any other goods or services.  This offer code cannot be sold and is not valid and will not be honored if obtained from any third party, including through Internet auction sites.

 

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  • Stacy Wagner: You can add cinemax to your Hulu subscription for $10 which is $2 cheaper than xfinitys add on rate and even if it cost more I would pay it just as a ...
  • Stacy Wagner: This is absolute nonsense. Things like this make it worth the time and effort to figure out which streaming sites I'll need in order to finally cancel...
  • Debbie Lippitt: To bad about Verison as I have lived 2 places now where Verison is the only one that can get you service. All the others fail. I have also been liter...
  • Andy: Well that's cause you're in New York State. Those much higher than average taxes you New Yorkers pay is being used to fund high dollar legal suits aga...
  • Paul Houle: Elliot Management recently wrote an Urkase against the management of AT&T and I don't blame them. AT&T prices DirectTV as if it was a premium...
  • Dyl: (Small type) You must lease their new xFi gateways to receive a Flex box....
  • Roy: As of September 2019, my legacy EDLP in NYC is still $14.99 (no fees no taxes, my own modem/router). This is even after an in-home service call last m...
  • LG: 300Mbps with no bandwidth cap for $50 / month? I'll believe that when I see it. Likely $50 only if you have some grotesque TV package....
  • Phillip Dampier: The problem with all of these kinds of schemes is that they usually irritate legal subscribers, while pirates and password sharing alternatives flouri...
  • Doug: I would imagine they'd tie a MAC Address to a username/password, for starters. They'd also only allow a fixed amount of MAC addresses to be tied to a...
  • Josh: Yikes. All of those “strategies” sound like they would interfere with legitimate users all the time. Only watch stuff at home?!? Gigantic numbers of...
  • Michaela Houston: The CW station JUST NOW got a station black out around 2pm Central time when Judge Mathis JUST started. Now it's taking up "People's Court " time slot...

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