Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, September 16th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by rotisserie chicken and lots of ice water.
BLOOMBERG'S 'POST COVID-19' STREAMING SERVICE
The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, who says the company is relaunching its QuickTake video service on Nov. 9 with 100 dedicated staffers as a global, 24-hour streaming service in an effort to reach the audience that, internally, the company refers to as "modern, rising leaders." QuickTake originally launched as a partnership with Twitter in 2017, but now it's available on a number of other platforms, gathering an audience the company says is around 150 million monthly viewers.
The new QuickTake will be structured more like a traditional streaming service:
Version 2 of QuickTake will launch with about 10.5 hours of original content per day, with the intention of getting to 24 hours of original content within a year or so of launch. It will be a true global streaming service, available in every country that Bloomberg’s apps are accessible, on mobile phones, social platforms, and connected TV platforms like Roku.
At launch, it will be ad-supported, relying on both direct sales and programmatic opportunities, which are abundant on OTT devices.
However, the company also plans to explore other opportunities to try and monetize QuickTake’s content through licensing deals, and QuickTake-branded shows on subscription streaming services (think Netflix or Hulu).
The company is betting that the traditional linear television market will continue to fade away, opening up the market for ad-supported news services that are available on a wide-range of platforms:
“The days of getting paid for carriage are starting to end, unless you are ESPN, and even those guys are under pressure from carriers,” Havens says.
AT&T'S GAMBLE ON AD-SUPPORTED PHONE SERVICE...WITH SOME CONNECTION TO AN AD-SUPPORTED HBO MAX
Chief Executive John Stankey said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that AT&T is exploring the idea of an ad-supported cell service tier, although he was a bit vague on the details, other than to say the service could be rolled out "in a year or two":
"I believe there’s a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey said.
Various companies including Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint's Boost Mobile have tested advertising supported phone services since the early 2000s but they have not caught on. AT&T is hoping that better advertising targeting could revive the idea.
The planned launch of an ad-supported version of AT&T’s video-streaming service HBO Max next year will serve as a "foundational element" that will provide new advertising inventory, and would be key to new phone plans supported by ads, Stankey said without offering details.
SPEAKING OF JOHN STANKEY....
On Tuesday, Stankey at the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference and said that he was happy with the initial reaction to the roll-out of HBO Max. Strangely, he said the biggest challenge was the problem of stagnant growth for the legacy HBO brand, which was stuck at around 43 million domestic subscribers:
"HBO had been stagnated at a customer count," Stankey said. "The only time it went up a little bit was when a new season of Game of Thrones would come out and then it would kind of work back down the back side."
He added, "We’re not doing this for a year. We’re doing this to build a platform that can sustain for the next decade."
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) Academy Of Country Music Awards (CBS)
For the first time in the show’s history, the awards will take place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic country music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. The show will also feature performances by Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Riley Green, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Tenille Townes, Keith Urban and P!NK, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood. Joining the all-star lineup are presenters Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker and Runaway June.
2) Archer Season Eleven Premiere (FXX)
Follow Sterling Archer and his return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence, Archer is confident it will take just a little time for him to reset things back to the old ways. The problem: does the rest of the team want that? Everyone else has been doing pretty well and may not be ready for his return to throw a wrench in their well-oiled machine.
3) Baby Season Premiere (Netflix)
Chiara and Ludovica form an unlikely friendship as they struggle to find their place and search for love at a high school in an exclusive Rome neighborhood.
4) Challenger: The Final Flight (Netflix)
Four-part docuseries on the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, unpacking an indelible moment for a generation of Americans.
5) Criminal United Kingdom Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Following a hugely successful first series and great critical acclaim, Criminal returns with four new cases, four new suspects and one room that changes everything. Prepare for bold stories, some surprises, and a completely innovative take on the police procedural.
6) Islands Of Wonder Series Premiere (PBS)
Journey to three of the most exotic, mysterious and remote islands on the planet: Madagascar, Borneo and Hawaii. Isolated from the rest of the world, they harbor remarkable wildlife and pioneering human communities found nowhere else on Earth.
7) Notre-Dame: Our Lady Of Paris (ABC)
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, and is also the keeper of some of Christianity’s most priceless and revered relics. On April 15, 2019, the unimaginable was broadcast live throughout the world: 500 Parisian firefighters were losing the battle against a raging fire that was destroying it all. The world cried and prayed, powerless as the flames threatened to wipe out nearly 900 years of history. Ultimately the president of France and the general in charge of the Paris Fire Brigade made the significant decision of sending a commando of elite firefighters to an extremely perilous, even suicidal mission to save the cathedral.
8) Sing On! Series Premiere (Netflix)
Hosted by the hilarious and talented Tituss Burgess, this eight-episode series is a karaoke-lover’s dream. In each themed episode, six contestants belt out the biggest hits from that genre while being judged by a vocal analyzer comparing their vocal performance to the original artist’s. The more they sing in tune, the more cash they add to a collective jackpot worth up to $60,000. The first round is worth $10,000 and lyrics are randomly assigned so contestants must be ready for anything - the highest scoring contestant moves on, while the remaining singers vote one fellow contestant out. For five more rounds, the stakes get higher and the jackpot gets bigger, and the final two contestants face off in a head-to-head battle to win the grand prize. Perfect for an at-home sing-a-long, viewers of all ages will find themselves off the couch, belting their favorite tunes and having a sing-off of their own.
10) The Devil All The Time (Netflix)
In an explosive Midwestern Gothic tale spanning two decades, sinister characters converge around young Arvin Russell as he fights the evil forces that threaten him and everything he loves. Based on Donald Ray Pollock’s award-winning novel.
11) The Paramedic (Netflix)
After an accident puts him in a wheelchair, Ángel decides to get even with those who betrayed him, particularly the woman who left when he needed her.
TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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